Chef Robert Clark
Chef, author, and sustainable seafood guru.
Owner of The Fish Counter
Throughout his award winning career Chef Robert Clark has been a champion of sustainable seafood. In 2004, Chef Clark was instrumental in helping the Vancouver Aquarium create the Ocean Wise program and is recognized as a founding partner. As one of Canada’s most heralded chefs, Clark freely donates his time to worthy causes that directly contribute to the conservation of our marine life and aquatic environments and acts as an Ocean Wise ambassador.
Born in Montreal, and raised on the Gaspe Peninsula, Robert Clark's passion for cooking began at a young age in his grandmother's kitchen, where his entire family shared a love for food. While growing up near the salmon rich York River, Clark developed an appreciation for fresh fish and natural ingredients.
At eighteen, Clark began his formal culinary training at Ontario's George Brown College. After graduating in 1982, his determination to learn from the best led him to work in some of Toronto's finest kitchens, including the iconic Three Small Rooms at The Windsor Arms Hotel. This allowed him to apprentice and work with some of Canada's top toques: Jamie Kennedy, Michael Bonaccini, Mark Thuet, John Higgins and Nils Kjelson. In 1990, Clark embarked with his wife on a working sabbatical throughout South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. For eighteen months they traveled, explored and worked in various gastronomic cultures. After arriving back in Canada in 1992, they settled in Vancouver where Clark delivered organic produce with Herb Barbolet from the Glorious Salads Company. This gave Clark an opportunity to peek into some of Vancouver's most progressive restaurants, and landed him on the opening team of Star Anise Restaurant.
In 1997, Harry Kambolis recruited Clark to join his team at C restaurant as Chef de Cuisine. Within a year, Clark was promoted to the position of Executive Chef. Since then, Clark's leadership in the C restaurant kitchen has been the key to the restaurant's success in becoming an award winning, critically acclaimed dining destination in Canada.
In 2013 Rob Clark opened The Fish Counter with business partner and marine biologist, Mike McDermid.
Ever cognizant to the delicate interconnected web of quality, sustainability and market demands that surround the seafood industry, Clark believes the integrity of a product is the foundation on which a chef builds his reputation. To that end, Clark has been instrumental in the creation of the annual Spot Prawn Festival in Vancouver, assisted the Vancouver Aquarium build and launch the Ocean Wise program, and has sat on the board of the B.C. Chefs' Table Society since its inception. In March 2011, Clark was awarded the Seafood Champion Award from SeaWeb for his ocean advocacy work.