Alabama native advances on hit television competition ‘Top Chef’
Alabama foodies and ‘Top Chef‘ fans can celebrate one of their own advancing to the final six on Bravo’s hit television series. Dothan native Kelsey Barnard Clark continues to impress celebrity judges and fellow contestants on the show’s 16th season set in Louisville, KY.
Clark is the chef and proprietor of KBC — a local Southern-French fusion restaurant, bakery and catering establishment. The eatery promotes “comfortable Southern cuisine” with a focus on whole food, prepared classically and plated with “big-city flair.”
In an interview with the Dothan Eagle, Clark explained her strategy to stay true to her cooking style during the grueling competition, a commitment that paid off during a solo challenge win in episode eight.
“The only game plan I had going into ‘Top Chef’ in general was I’m going to cook my food and I’m going to be myself,” Clark said. “If I win, I’m going to win with what I do. I’m not going to try and be some frou-frou person that I’m not. I’m not going to try and do pasta because I don’t make pasta − I’m not going to do that just to impress them. I’m just going to do what I do.”
Clark’s start in the food industry began in middle school with a baking obsession. She had her first catering gig at 16 and, at the age of 20, moved to New York to learn from world-class chefs at the Culinary Institute of America.
Clark’s resume includes working in Manhattan’s top restaurants Cafe Boulud and Dovetail before coming home to Dothan. She launched her business in 2008.
In last week’s episode, Clark competed against remaining contestants in a challenge set at University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena for future Hall of Fame head basketball coach John Calipari and a crowd of several thousand fans.
The next episode will air on Bravo Thursday, February 14 at 7 p.m. and will feature undefeated boxing world-champion Laila Ali. Clark is hosting a Top Chef Valentine’s dinner and viewing party at KBC to celebrate. Tickets are available online.