Meet Chef Darrell Campbell
>> Executive Chef, Clara
How long have you been cooking?
Well, I don't have the story of standing on a stool and cooking next to my grandmother when I was five years old… We mainly ate hamburger helper and spaghetti sauce out of a can, etc. I started cooking as a side job while I was attending Michigan State University, studying chemical engineering. I fell in love with the fast pace and excitement of the kitchen. I soon realized I was good at this and decided to explore this as a career, since the engineering was not really exciting me or igniting a passion.
What is your cooking style?
My cooking style is simple… literally! I believe less is more. I believe in letting good, quality ingredients speak for themselves. I do not mask flavors with flavors, I enhance the natural flavors. I worked under an Italian chef in Scottsdale, where I learned the simplicity of Italian cooking and I continue to cook with that mantra today.
What made you pursue a career feeding people?
I have always loved the instant gratification that comes from cooking for friends, family, or strangers. Seeing people truly enjoy a meal start to finish is a reminder of why I do what I do. People need to eat and if I can provide a nourishing meal for them to enjoy, my job is complete.
What do you love to cook at home?
I love to cook anything from my local farmers. I always have farm veggies in my fridge! And seafood… I love fish. I love to cook simple dishes, fish and veggies, maybe some farro or rice. I love burnt vegetables.
What is your favorite restaurant in San Diego?
My favorite spot to go to is Wrench and Rodent (because it is always epic) and my most visited spot is The Miller's Table (because of the simpleness and freshness (my style of cooking)).
If you were a piece of produce, what would you be?
Passionfruit. This is a recent change, since I have had the luxury of eating local passionfruit. First off, the fruit itself is amazing. It’s like a burst of energy. I call it a vegan oyster! The plant grows all over and will continue to keep growing and growing (like myself). And the flower… it is one of the coolest flowers I have ever seen!!
Click here for some sample menus from Chef Darrell.