Darren Clay

Executive Culinary Chef Instructor
I’m passionate about food and have always been interested in the “How’s & Why’s” of cooking. As an instructor I believe knowing these are the keys to learning. When teaching, I aim to keep classes fresh and stimulating by remembering what its like to be a student.
  • Graduating from culinary school in 1998, Chef Darren spent his early years in the Industry honing his skills and beginning his apprenticeship at the prestigious Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver. 
  • During this time he also began to make a name for himself winning medals in all 3 categories (Team, Apprentice and Student) at the BC Junior Chefs Association’s Hot Competition as well as winning the Dubrulle/Vancouver Magazine’s Rising Star Black Box Challenge.
  • Finishing in the Top 5% of his class for his Red Seal, Chef Darren set off to further his education and also apply his skills on an International level in Singapore, Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia for 3 years before returning to the West Coast.
  • Back in Vancouver he led a team of 30 in his new role of Executive Chef of the Village Taphouse in Park Royal and the Robson Street Cactus Club.  Monitoring all aspects of restaurant revenue, expenses and employee training, he realized his passion for passing on his knowledge to others.
  • After completing his Provincial Instructor’s Diploma in 2009 Chef Darren joined the faculty of our Institute. 
  • Over the years, Chef Darren has tackled various roles in our Institute - from teaching the Culinary Arts program to handling our Corporate division. Most recently, he is also in charge of our Industry Relations and Job Placement for both students and alumni, and in 2015 has become the Executive Culinary Chef Instructor of PICA.

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