Bayfield native to compete on ‘Chopped’

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Bayfield native and chef Owen Clark recently competed on “Chopped,” a reality cooking show. The episode will air Tuesday on Food Network.

By Amy Maestas Herald staff writer

A Bayfield native who is now a chef at a restaurant in Brooklyn, N.Y., will be one of the four cooks on “Chopped,” a reality cooking show on Food Network.

Owen Clark recently competed on the popular show, and his episode will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday. The title of the episode is “Cleaver Fever.” Producers say “one contestant loses valuable time to an unfortunate injury.”

“I can’t really talk about what happened on the show since we had to sign a confidentiality agreement, but we had a great time and the network is featuring a lot of footage of Southwest Colorado at the beginning, so it should be fun to watch,” Clark said.

How Clark fared in the competition is secret. Food Network producers keep the results under wraps until the show airs. The challenge of the show is for the chefs to take baskets of mystery ingredients and turn them into a dish that is judged for creativity, taste and presentation. Mostly, the ingredients are not ones commonly used together, which makes the cooking more challenging. The dishes have to be prepared within a time limit.

Clark currently is executive chef at Gwynnett Street, a restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Last year, Esquire magazine named it the “Best New Restaurant in America.”

Clark returned to the New York City area last year after a short time back in Durango where he created FoundFoods with local chef Marcos Wisner. FoundFoods’ concept focused on making dinners and menus with mostly locally foraged wild foods such as sumac, juniper and yarrow. The duo also relied often on locally produced ingredients from farm suppliers. They’d often pair the dishes with carefully selected wine and beer – also focusing as much as possible on local products.

Clark and Wisner dissolved FoundFoods so that Clark could return to New York, where he worked on and off during his culinary training. He received a degree from the Culinary School of the Rockies in Boulder. He then completed an apprenticeship at the Michelin two-starred L’Oustau d’Baumaniere in Les Baux-de-Provence, France. He also has worked in other elite restaurants – The Fat Duck in Bray, England, WD-50 in New York City and Blue Hill in New York.

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