At 35 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 is currently the 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), Bellissimo Ristorante Italiano(Scratch Italian Cuisine), 5 Fast Casual Counter operations, Moby’s(24 Hour Diner), 65,000 square foot Indoor and outdoor meeting space, 5,000 seat AVA Amphitheater, Shell Convenience Store, Two Hotel Properties with In-room Dining and sister property 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. Most recently Chef Clark was nominated for 'BEST CHEF' by the Foodist Awards.
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, Chef's Roll Anti-Convention 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.