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About the Restaurant Chef

Meet our Executive Chef, James Clark

Raised in Elizabeth City, N.C., and growing up in Orangeburg, S.C., Executive Chef James Clark returns to his North Carolina roots in Chapel Hill to begin his Carolina Crossroads Restaurant career. He previously worked at Five-Star, Five-Diamond, Four-Star and Four-Diamond restaurants in various cities well known for innovative restaurants and exceptional cuisine like Washington D.C., Charleston, New Orleans and Atlanta, among others.

Most recently Executive Chef at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Chef Clark specializes in sustainable dining serving locally grown "Farm to Table" seafood, meats and vegetables. His individual style is inspired by local, Southern influences infused with modern techniques.

He is as meticulous about leaving carbon footprints on the environment as he is about the unique dishes he creates. He concentrates on three or four ingredients for each dish, focusing on them to maximize their flavors using proper cooking techniques.

"I am all about simple food and great flavor by letting the ingredients speak for themselves and acquiring great local products," said Chef Clark, an avid outdoorsman. "I am really impressed with the North Carolina agricultural scene connecting chefs and farmers. I can't wait to get out into the community and meet all the farmers."

Chef Clark is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, where he met his pastry chef wife Marcey. They have two daughters Madison (11) and Paige (5). After graduation, he further honed his expertise in several renowned fine dining restaurants across the country:

  • Worked with well-known Chef Jeff Tunks at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans
  • The Dining Room in Atlanta's Ritz-Carlton
  • Four-year association in Charleston, S.C., with Chef Louis Osteen, at Charleston Grill and then at Louis's
  • Executive Chef at the Palette Restaurant in the Madison Hotel, a high profile restaurant in Washington, D.C.
  • Chef De Cuisine at the renowned D.C. Coast Restaurant where he created and executed seasonal menus utilizing fresh, local produce and in season seafood
  • Executive Chef of the Isle of Capri and Colorado Central Station in the mountains of Colorado 

Chef Clark has received several recognitions and awards including:

  • 5 Star Award from the National Restaurant Science Association
  • Featured in Bon Appétit Magazine for cutting edge cuisine in "Places to Eat Now"
  • Santé Award Winner for Sustainability
  • Guest chef at the St. Michaels Food and Wine Festival
  • Featured chef for the March of Dimes Celebrity Chef event in Washington, D.C.
  • Rave reviews from the Washingtonian Magazine, Roll Call Magazine, Where Magazine, Washington Flyer, The Hill, Washington Business Journal and the Washington Times.

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