Meet Our Chef
Clay brings years of experience in the kitchen and a huge heart to our program’s mission to Nourish the Community!
Chef Clay’s culinary background includes working in corporate kitchens, assisted living facilities, healthcare institutions, military galleys, and restaurants. He is a graduate of the College of Lake County with Certificates in Culinary Arts, Professional Cook, and Food Service Management.
Chef Clay has had the privilege to work side-by-side with a few well-respected chefs specializing in the art of Cajun Cuisine. Two of those mentors are Executive Chef Warren Jones and the late Executive Chef Dave Teichman. Additionally, he also collaborated with the famous Original Crabby Bill’s Seafood restaurants in Florida creating a signature dish, the very popular “Crabby Bill’s Seafood Gumbo.”
In 2005, Chef Clay was 1 of only 5 chefs in the U.S. invited to compete in the Hobart National Chili Competition held at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. He won the competition with his award-winning “Clay’s Colossal Chili” recipe.
In the fall of 2008, with the help of friends and family members, Chef Clay wrote and self-published a soup cookbook called “25 Soups & One Chili.” In the spirit of giving back, the inspiration behind this cookbook was to help raise money for the Youth Ministry at his church in Waukegan.
Over his Career Chef Clay has served as a committee member of the Culinary Arts Program for the College of Lake County Board of Directors.
Chef Clay is married to his wife Linda and has two children Jeremy and Bryan. He served in the military and is a veteran of the United States Air Force. His hobbies include fishing, fishing, and more fishing.
To contact Chef Clay, email clay.ericksonRCP@gmail.com.