Ariq Flax-Clarke

Ariq Flax-Clarke was born on September 13th, 1997, and is currently in his third year at Johnson and Wales University in Miami, Florida. For Ariq, cooking is everything. From the age of six he developed a love for cooking and would make his way to the kitchen in the middle of the night while everyone was asleep, to prepare dishes for the next day’s lunch or simply to practice.
Upon graduation from Bregado Flax Educational Center in July 2014, Ariq attended the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Culinary Center in the British Virgin Islands before transferring to Miami to enhance his culinary skills. Ariq won the First Annual BVI Junior Chef Challenge in November 2012. The Junior Chef Challenge was held as an addition to the Janice Blyden Table Setting and Service Competition co-hosted by the BVI Tourist Board and Rosewood Little Dix Bay.
As part of the BVI Tourist Board’s Restaurant Week 2013 festivities and in an effort to promote the BVI to an array of audiences, celebrity chef Fed Federer (Food Network Chopped Contestant) was invited to the BVI to participate in our first ever Taste of the BVI Cook Off in Tortola and Virgin Gorda. Chef Ariq was selected by the BVITB to shadow Chef Federer, to gain firsthand knowledge and experience from a world renowned chef.
During the Taste of the BVI: Tortola Cook-Off on Nov. 22nd, 2013 Chef Fed & Chef Ariq prepared a Blackened Old Wife Fish Infused in a Tamarind Sauce, earning them the distinction of “Best Entrée” for the first time event. During the Taste of the BVI: Virgin Gorda Cook-Off on Nov. 23rd 2013, the dynamic duo prepared BVI Curried Pumpkin Soup with Ginger and garnished with Roasted Breadfruit for the Appetizer and Grilled Lamb Loin with Raspberry Chutney, grilled bell peppers and drizzled with Cilantro Oil for the Entree. And as luck would have it, and coupled with the experience gained from the previous day, Chef Fed & Chef Ariq would win all three categories for the competition, which includes “Best Appetizer”, “Best Entrée” and “Overall Winner of the Taste of Virgin Gorda Cook -Off.
During Chef Fed’s time in the BVI, Chef Ariq spent as much time as possible with his mentor, including tours of Virgin Gorda and Tortola, visits to the Agricultural Station in Paraquita Bay and the BVI Fisheries Complex, dinners at various BVI restaurants, a trip to Jost Van Dyke, Peter Island, Norman Island and of course, cooking. As a result of that, Chef Fed was quite impressed with Chef Ariq and mentioned that he never encountered a sixteen year old that excelled in the kitchen like Ariq and felt that Ariq was cooking like someone who has the training and experience of someone who is at least thirty years old. Ariq has been offered an internship to cook with Chef Fed in the very near future in New York.
Ariq’s first job was working at one of the BVI’s top resorts, Rosewood Little Dix Bay. During the Christmas, Easter and Summer breaks, he is allowed the opportunity to hone his skills and has come to the realization that his ultimate goal is to become an executive chef. To Ariq, Bobby Flay, Chef Fed and also Chef Digby Stridiron from St. Croix are all favorites of his, from whom he draws inspiration. He especially considers Chef Digby as a role model and hopes to get opportunity to work with him in the near future. Diners Drive Ins and Dives, Restaurant Impossible, Iron Chef America, and Chopped are among those shows on the Food Network that Ariq frequently views for learning purposes. Ariq, however, is most inspired by his grandmothers, the late Norma Flax, chef extraordinaire at Fischers Cove Beach Hotel and Mona Kelly, long time worker at Little Dix Bay, who taught him the basics of the kitchen at a very young age.
Ariq loves to make locally inspired dishes and salads. He creates many pasta dishes that would rival any that are produced in the BVI’s top restaurants. His Lemongrass Ice Cream always leave you wanting more.
Ariq attended Career Explorations, a culinary summer camp at Johnson and Wales University in North Miami in July of 2014 as a recipient of the Emerging Fellows Award from the Ministry of Education and Culture. This experience will enhanced his culinary skills and has propelled him in the direction of his future goal which is to become a top chef internationally returning to the BVI to contribute to Culinary Tourism. He has also to shadowed Germaine ‘Monk’ George, former Head Chef at the renowned Biras Creek Resort and the current Executive Chef at The Rock Café and Tree House Restaurants on Virgin Gorda He was also be one of the visiting chefs at the Mid-Atlantic Food and Wine Festival from May 14-18, 2014 in Delaware USA.
Ariq competed in the BVI Agriculture Week 2014 Preserves and Candy competition where he created a Pomegranate Infused Guava Jam and a Ginger Infused Pineapple Jam which gained him second and first prizes respectively using locally grown ingredients. Ariq celebrated with the BVI National Culinary team in 2015 when they won the silver medal overall. Ariq also won an additional medal for the team when he won the silver in the Jr. Chef Competition. Ariq has also won the Silver medal in 2017 and 2018 Junior Chef Competition and got an Honorable Mention in the Beef Competition as a member of the BVI National Culinary Team at the Taste of the Caribbean in Miami USA.
Most Recently, Ariq along with his sister Sapphire, created The BVI Coconut Escape, a rum based drink which was the featured drink at the Miami Open Tennis Tournament in March 2017. He is also in the process of developing his own line of hot sauces, jams, and other condiments. In February of 2018, Ariq was the featured chef at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival at the British Virgin Islands’ Booth showcasing culinary delights of the destination. He has also had the pleasure of working as a summer intern at Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park California in the summer of 2018.
When Ariq isn’t in the kitchen, he enjoys fishing, remote control boat racing and playing his favorite pop songs on the piano, Ariq is also very fascinated in cars and is always been interested in how they work. Most recently Ariq has changed his lifestyle and has become very committed to the healthy and fit lifestyle.