Rising star Chef Ryan Clark stays true to his roots as a Tucson Native. The Food and Wine Best New Chef Nominee has been cooking for over 17 years in Tucson, AZ. His philosophy on food is simple and approachable using unique and native ingredients close to home.
At 34 years of age, Chef Ryan Clark has accomplished much in his career.
A Tucson native true to his roots and committed to using local and sustainable ingredients, Chef Clark’s dishes reflect the freshness and unique flavors that only result from this kind of culinary sensibility. As an Ambassador for City of Tucson's culinary scene he shares this vision through his food.
From the minute he went to work as a Sous Chef at Fuego Restaurant in Tucson in 1999, Clark knew he wanted to be a chef. After graduating at the top of his class and making the Dean’s List at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, he garnered his first accolade at 23 when he was named one of the Top Sixteen Junior Chefs in the US by the American Culinary Foundation.
After working for a few years in NY, Clark came home to Arizona, working at Elements Restaurant at the Sanctuary Resort in Paradise Valley under acclaimed Chef Beau MacMillan before making his way back to Tucson where he honed his craft at the world renowned Canyon Ranch Resort & Spa and at The Dish Bistro. He earned and held his first Executive Chef position at the Lodge on the Desert until October of 2013 when he had the opportunity to partner in his own restaurant, Agustin Kitchen, at Mercado San Agustin.
Chef Ryan Clark was recently named Executive Chef for the AAA 4 Diamond and Forbes 4 Star Hotel Casino Del Sol Resort and Spa. He oversees and manages a culinary/food and beverage staff of over 450 Associates in 11 different culinary operations: PY Steakhouse(Fine-Dining Steakhouse, and a 2016/17 Forbes 4 Star Restaurant), Ume Asian Kitchen(Asian Cuisine + Sushi), Festa Buffet(International food buffet), Tequila Factory(Mexican Cuisine), 3 Fast Casual Counter operations, Moby’s(24 Hour Diner), 65,000 square foot Indoor and outdoor meeting space, 5,000 seat AVA Amphitheater, Hotel In-room Dining and Casino of the Sun.
Chef Clark holds the rare distinction of being Tucson’s Iron Chef for three consecutive years. He also holds the title of Tucson’s Copper Chef and he has won top honors thrice in the World Margarita Challenge. In 2012, he was nominated by Food and Wine Magazine as one of the top 10 Best New Chefs in the Southwest.
Chef Clark has become a sought after guest at national and international culinary events. A regular at the Delaware Food & Wine Festival and recent 2nd place winner of the Thailand International Culinary Festival, Chef Clark is in increasing demand as a highly skilled, entertaining guest chef as well as a restaurant consultant. He has been featured at The Taste of Championship, The Today Show and Nirvana Food and Wine Festival.
Chef Clark lives his philosophy not just in his work but also in his daily life. He unselfishly shares his talents with many, including Jr. Culinary Students in the AZ C-CAP program, as a member of the Slow Food Southern AZ and in his monthly collaborative "Dinners with Chefs" , where he invites other chefs to create a special meal together for their guests. He has cooked for such celebrity personalities as Wayne Gretzky, Will Smith, Britney Spears, Rob Thomas and Gene Simmons.
Clark’s first cookbook “Modern Southwest Cooking“ released in October 2013, showcases innovative recipes that combine his passion for regional cooking and local ingredients.
Chef Ryan Clark, Corporate Chef for Covilli Organics, works closely with the farm to develop recipes and the brand. New produce is planted seasonally and tested for the market to ensure quality, market appeal and functionality in today's top kitchens.
Covilli, a family owned and operated business, began in 1972 as Circle Produce Company, with 80 acres that would eventually grow to over 1000 acres. Covilli is located inland from the picturesque beaches of Guaymas. In 1990 they made the transition to organic. Their strict adherence to the NOP Guidelines and Third Party Food Safety Certification, shows their commitment to quality and organic production. Covilli Brand Organics continues to lead the industry with the highest global food safety rating; Primus GFS, ensuring exceptional care from the field to your home.
The rich coastal soil in Sonora and Covilli’s high levels of agricultural integrity provides the ideal conditions for consistently high quality produce every season. Covilli is currently growing a wide array of warm vegetables such as zucchini, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, eggplant, brussells sprouts, a variety of peppers and some winter squash. In the spring from around the end of March through May a varietal of melons are grown including Sugar Baby Watermelon, Honeydew, Orange Flesh, Charentais and Galia.
Around the farm there are many boxes full of honey bees in the field and bumble bees for the greenhouses. The honey bees are used to pollinate the field and the bumble bees are used in the greenhouse. In particular tomato flowers must undergo vibrations for successful pollination. The bumble uses its wings to create a buzzing vibration that shakes the flower to distribute its pollen. Honeybees and other pollinators do not have the ability to shake the tomato’s flowers. The bees also pollinate raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, sweet peppers and melons.
Chef Ryan Clark is currently the Executive Chef for Casino Del Sol and Casino of the Sun.
Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Center, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s jewel in the desert and southern Arizona’s premier luxury and business travel destination. This gorgeous high-rise 215-room hotel is adjacent to Casino Del Sol and outdoor entertainment venue, AVA Amphitheater.
Arizona’s newest AAA Four Diamond-rated destination features: 215 rooms and 10 suites with balconies; 65,000 square feet of event space including the a Conference Center featuring a 20,000 square foot Ballroom; PY Steakhouse; Festa International Buffet; Prema Lounge; two Starbucks locations; retail store; high end gaming salon; Hiapsi, an elegant spa and exercise facility; a luxurious outdoor pool with private cabanas, bar, fire pits and event space; AVA, a 5,000-seat open-air concert venue; and a 1,120 space parking garage.
Casino Del Sol Resort is everyday extraordinary and the ideal location for business or pleasure. In addition to the impressive amenities featured in the resort, the incredible selection of casino games add to the fun. No matter your preference, Casino Del Sol Resort has something for you. Home to more than 1,300 state-of-the-art slots, a variety of table games, bingo and poker, Casino Del Sol is a gaming destination for everyone from the casual slots player to the seasoned veteran. Sewailo Golf Club, a Notah Begay III designed 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course, features a Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf, which broke ground in Feb. 2012, and opened in 2014.
The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is a federally recognized tribe with more than 17,000 enrolled members, and owns and operates two casinos: Casino of the Sun and Casino Del Sol. The reservation is located in southwest metropolitan Tucson. For more information, visit: www.solcasinos.com or call 1-855-SOL-STAY.