Guests at Devour! Osoyoos have the very good fortune to be able to taste the cuisine of Canada’s best kitchens in one of the country’s most stunning locales.
This year once again promises an incredible lineup of participating chefs. Devour! Osoyoos is so proud to showcase the talents of these industry leaders.
So much personality goes into the dishes every chef creates. What influenced the Devour! chefs to pursue their culinary passions, and what inspired their unique cooking styles? We were curious, and think Devour! festival guests might be, too. So we asked them!
In the spotlight this week, we’d like to introduce the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts’ Executive Culinary Chef Darren Clay.
Chef Darren graduated from culinary school in 1998, and began his professional culinary career at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel. His apprenticeship culminated with his Red Seal designation and a first place finish in the Vancouver Magazine Rising Star black box challenge.
He then set off to further his education and apply his skills in Singapore, working for the Raffles hotel group, as well as running an authentic Mexican restaurant. Chef Darren used his time in Asia to travel and expand his knowledge of ingredients and techniques in Thailand, Malaysia, China, and Indonesia.
After 3 years, he returned to the west coast to be the Executive Chef at the Robson Street Cactus Club, as well as the opening chef for Cactus Club’s new concept Village Taphouse in Park Royal in West Vancouver. It was in this role that Darren discovered his true passion for teaching and passing along his knowledge to others. After completing his Provincial Instructor’s Diploma in 2009, Chef Darren joined the faculty at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. His role has evolved over the years from Chef Instructor and Corporate & Catering Chef to his current role of Executive Culinary Chef, where he oversees all day-to-day operations of the culinary arts program.
Wanting to give back to the industry, Chef Darren sits on various ITA advisory committees, the Joy of Feeding steering committee, which raises awareness and funds for the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm, and is currently the Vice President of the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, a chef-administered, province-wide collaborative organization dedicated to creating a foundation for the exchange of information between culinary professionals.
Chef Darren will be leading a team of PICA student chefs at several Devour! events throughout the weekend.