September 25, 2018

Clarke’s Culinary Team Offers Singular Sensory Experiences


When Clarke opened its first showroom in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, more than a quarter-century ago, one of the defining features was live cooking. “There’s nothing more captivating when designing a kitchen than to walk into an appliance showroom and smell the aroma of cookies baking,” says Clarke President Sean Clarke. “For that reason, we have evolved into a place where homeowners can design a kitchen using all of their senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste. The importance of the last two (smell and taste) have inspired us to hire and train one of New England’s finest culinary teams.”

On any given day, visitors to New England’s Official Sub-Zero/Wolf/Cove Showroom and Test Kitchen are treated to various culinary adventures.

    • A local designer invites a client to a sumptuous Italian lunch at 7 Tide, prepared entirely in the Wolf Convection Steam Oven.
    • A homeowner browses South Norwalk’s inspiring kitchens and she’s offered one of Clarke’s signature “Small Plates,” featuring delectable Mini Crepes made with fresh local peaches and crème fraiche.
    • In Milford, two aspiring 11-year-old chefs are given Clarke aprons and offered an impromptu cooking lesson while mom is deciding between induction and gas cooktops.

These unique sensory experiences are the result of careful planning and execution by Clarke’s Culinary Team, headed by Executive Chef John Craig, who joined Clarke in 2015. Chef Craig learned every facet of the food business by cooking for, supervising and managing restaurants, catering companies and food retailers. With an education that includes culinary arts, as well as hotel management and business studies, Chef Craig has been a sous chef, head chef, chef supervisor and executive chef throughout Connecticut. His love of fresh ingredients inspired him to start an extraordinary home garden, which often enhances 

The three young chefs working under Chef Craig have one thing in common: Johnson & Wales University. Clarke has developed a close relationship and robust internship program with this culinary leader. Chefs Domenick Nigro, Shelby Grigoriadis and Nicolle Saez are all graduates of J&W’s Food Service Management program. Each has an impressive resumé including experience in a host of positions in restaurants and hotels around the U.S. In addition, Chef Shelby has won a commercial food prep competition, Chef Nicolle has extensive knowledge of baking and pastry arts and Chef Domenick earned his culinary stripes in the kitchens of luxury resorts and fine dining restaurants. All four Clarke chefs work together to provide an extraordinary sensory experience that exemplifies all that Wolf and Sub-Zero can bring to a New England kitchen.his Clarke menus.

In addition to creating a delicious showroom experience, the team also works tirelessly to plan menus and provide catering services for Clarke’s more than 100 special events each year, held not only in Clarke’s three showroom venues, but also on the road in the Clarke Mobile Showroom, which brings the Sub-Zero/Wolf/Cove story to food festivals, charity events, farmer’s markets and sporting events throughout the region.

It’s hard to believe that just four chefs are at the heart of this list of culinary achievements in the past year…

  • More than 3000 Small Plates prepared for showroom guests.
  • More than 4000 meals served during classes, events and trainings.
  • More than 100 events prepped and catered.
  • More than 100 different cooking demonstrations conducted.

Everyone at Clarke salutes this dedicated culinary team. They bring Clarke’s world-class appliances to life daily, and we look forward to even more Johnson & Wales interns joining our team for a semester, a summer or as an important step along their extraordinary careers.