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  • Writer's pictureJarnard Sutton

In the Kitchen with Executive Chef Darrell Campbell of Carlsbad's CLARA

Beet Salad, Roasted Cauliflower Flatbread and Grilled Artichoke are just a few of the delicious new menu items you can find at Carlsbad’s CLARA with Executive Chef Darrell Campbell now at the helm of the kitchen. Having worked his way up through restaurants in North County, Chef Darrell brings bright and fresh new flavors to this modern Carlsbad eatery.

Chef Darrell’s roots stem from Michigan, where he was raised and attended Michigan State. He was on the path towards pursuing a Chemical Engineering degree, when it struck him that what he really wanted to do in life was feed people. The result of this discovery led to him to follow an exciting path towards the culinary industry.

After seven years of hands-on experience working in kitchens around Michigan, Chef Darrell headed west to Arizona, where he attended the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale and received a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts.

In February of 2013, he was tapped to run the kitchen as Chef de Cuisine at Del Mar’s Davanti Enoteca. After Davanti, Chef Darrell worked at the racetrack in Del Mar with Chef Barry Schneider as Chef de Cuisine of the luxury suites and Directors’ Room kitchen. In 2015, Chef Darrell became sous chef at Vintana, followed by a position as Executive Chef at Intertwined Bistro & Wine Bar in Escondido, until it closed in the fall of 2016. He became the Executive Chef at Oceanside’s Masters Kitchen and Cocktail, before his current role at CLARA.

Nestled within the Village Fair, in the heart and soul of the beachside community, CLARA is a chic dining and drinking oasis serving market-driven cuisine. Chef Darrell partners with Cyclops Farms, Smit Farms and other local purveyors to supply the produce and ingredients used in his dishes.

“I love highlighting the beautiful produce I’m able to cultivate just a few miles from my kitchen,” says Chef. “Amazing dishes should not only taste great, but also be visually enticing. That’s easy to do when you have such fresh ingredients that are naturally delicious.”

As Executive Chef of CLARA, Chef Darrell has the opportunity to do what he loves best; present a cooking style that is uniquely simple, enhancing the natural flavor of each ingredient, using the freshest local produce, meats and seafood available.

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