Restaurateur Charles Clark is widely admired for his international culinary experience, impressive knowledge, colossal energy, stint on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and head-spinning list of accolades. Alongside business partner Grant Cooper, the duo has launched four top-of-the-chart restaurant ventures through Clark Cooper Concepts and has consistently garnered local and national praise.
Clark’s rise to the top tier of Houston’s culinary talent dates back to humble beginnings and modest, small-town Louisiana roots. There, his parents instilled a hard work ethic and adherence to strong morals, which Clark has embraced throughout his career. Beginning with an apprenticeship at an iconic Texas restaurant, he also racked up first-hand experiences with exemplary culinary techniques in France, Italy and Spain.
Upon his return to the United States, Clark achieved top honors as a credentialed chef and today ranks as a highly respected restaurateur. With a uniquely unpretentious high style, Clark’s culinary experiences and tenure in the kitchen are melded with Cooper’s business savvy to create trends that mirror the open kitchens that both Clark and Cooper enjoyed during childhood and front-of-the-house early-career positions. Ibiza Food & Wine Bar, like its namesake island off the coast of Spain, bustles in Midtown with a confluence of sophisticated Houston style setters.
Flanking the other side of Houston’s bustling downtown business district on edgy Washington Avenue, the newest venture, Coppa Ristorante Italiano, offers a diverse slate of Italian cuisine in a buoyant atmosphere that captures the Italian spirit. Between the two in upscale River Oaks and named for its affluent zip code, Brasserie 19 reincarnates classic French brasserie fare enhanced by Gulf Coast flavors and modern American influences. With their creativity working overtime, Clark Cooper Concepts have additional trend-setting concepts on the drawing board, and loyal patrons are awaiting the next marvel to be unveiled.
As a multi-generational Texan, Kenneth Burke learned the tradition of home grown food at a young age. He grew up sitting on his parent’s kitchen countertop watching his grandmothers and mother preparing meals – using everything from fresh heirloom tomatoes from the garden to his grandfathers’ harvested honey.
With a culinary career in mind, Kenneth enrolled at LeNôtre Culinary Institute in Houston. At LeNôtre, he was introduced to French cuisine, learning the precise techniques and intense discipline of the French. Upon graduating, he took his Texas brand of French cooking straight to the source by interning at a small restaurant in France to follow his passion.
Kenneth has worked under many notables in the industry such as Master Chef Fritz Gitschner, Chef Mark Cox, and Chef Bryan Caswell, with his culinary journey continuing as Chef de Cuisine at Ibiza Food & Wine bar under Chef Charles Clark. Here, he fuses French techniques with the Southern, Tex-Mex, and Asian flavors that he grew up with to create unique and innovative meals that guests are sure to never forget.
Chef De Cuisine