CHEF Stephen Clarke is no stranger to awards but this year’s Gold Plate prize meant something more to the North Beach restaurateur.
It was the first accolade the decorated Clarke’s of North Beach owner received since his daughter Jasmine (20) joined the restaurant last year.
Mr Clarke is immensely proud of Jasmine, who runs front of house operations.
“I think it’s really nice, it’s really brought us together,” he said.
The restaurant has been picking up Catering Institute of Australia (WA) Gold Plate Awards since 2004 but Mr Clarke wanted it more this time.
“It was more stressful than ever,” he said.
“I thought, ‘We’ve got to win it for Jasmine’.”
The venue came up trumps again, taking home best formal contemporary restaurant.
Ms Clarke has relished the opportunity to work closely with her family – her brother and sister help out during the day, her mother takes care of administration duties and her aunt bakes fresh bread for the kitchen daily.
“I’ve always been interested in the restaurant, I loved going there as a child,” she said.
“I feel like it brings us all a lot more together.
“We are actually very good, Dad and I, at distinguishing work and home.”
Despite the interest, she had not planned on following her family into the business.
“I never really thought I would do it,” she said.
“But I did pick it up quite quickly.
“It’s a rollercoaster, it’s crazy working in a restaurant.”
The recent awards were also nerve-wracking for Ms Clarke.
“It was different this time, there was so much pressure,” she said.
“Dad hasn’t lost a Gold Plate yet.
“That was really exciting to hear I’d done well, that I hadn’t let anyone down.”
Ms Clarke has considered working in the kitchen but knows she has big shoes to fill so is happy continuing to work with customers.
“Being able to go to work with my dad, it makes it a little more relaxed,” she said.
“It definitely opened my eyes to how much he really does and how much people appreciate what he does.
“The customers are the most enjoyable part of it.”