Chef Charles Clark
Some background on ICA challenger Charles Clark. It is from the web site catalanfoodandwine.com.
Charles Clark and Grant Cooper share common passions – wine, food and the restaurant business. Charles was born into a state that knows a thing or two about good food, Louisiana. Grant, too, was blessed with a gastronomic birthright, being born and raised in Europe.
As young men, both traveled and dined extensively throughout France, Italy and Spain. Charles chose to go into the kitchen, working with Dean Fearing and Stephen Pyles in Dallas, then studying at the Art Institute Houston in the Culinary Arts program where he graduated with honors. Following graduation, Charles returned to Spain, cooking in various kitchens on the Southern coast.
While attending Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Grant took an interest the restaurant ownership and management path. While still a student, he opened two bars that became highly popular in the Dallas area.
Vitalized by his Spanish experience, Charles returned to Houston determined to open a restaurant that reflected the culture and food he had grown to love. Grant was anxious to have a place of his own, one that showcased his love of wine. The two met, formed a partnership and the midtown Ibiza Wine & Food Bar was conceived. The rest is award-winning history. The wine program under Grant’s guidance has garnered consistent acclaim, thanks to wine prices that hover above retail. Ibiza has received national praise from, among other, Food & Wine magazine, Bon Appetit, Wine Spectator and Food Network.
Now both Clark and Cooper are partners with (Chris) Shepherd and Antonio) Gianola in Houston’s latest hot spot, Catalan Food & Wine — a four-star partnership that is an uncommon recipe for success.