About Nao

It’s all about fire and heat at the CIA’s restaurant at the Pearl Brewery. At dinner, the open kitchen makes it easy for diners to experience the drama created by cooking with live fire. The contemporary menu offers creatively re-imagined dishes and a highly curated beverage program. This world-class restaurant is operated by students about to graduate from the CIA’s degree program. They work under the supervision of highly experienced chef-instructors and maître d’instructors.


Our Team

Chef-Instructor Patrick Clark, CHEChef-Instructor Patrick Clark, CHE

Chef Patrick Clark studied at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, CA. During his career, he has served as executive chef for the California Café restaurant group in Palo Alto, CA; and the Santa Barbara Grill in Cupertino, CA; both roles allowing him to bring his culinary passion for seasonal, local, and organic foods to the table. Chef Clark also has extensive experience in opening private clubs and luxury hotels. As a member of the 1992 Chaîn de Rôtisseurs Culinary Team USA, Chef Clark was an apprentice on the team that garnered 27 medals in the International Culinary Olympics, in Frankfurt, Germany. He has been a presenter a many of the CIA’s thought leadership conferences and been featured in numerous publications including Plate magazine, Food Arts, and Nation’s Restaurant News. He is currently an associate professor in culinary arts at the CIA’s San Antonio campus.


Maître d’ Instructor Samantha Fletcher, CHEMaître d’ Instructor Samantha Fletcher, CHE

Samantha Fletcher is in charge of front-of-the-house service at Nao. In her role as lecturing instructor at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), she teaches both the Contemporary and Formal Hospitality and Service Management courses, which take place in Nao. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Prior to joining the CIA faculty, Mrs. Fletcher was restaurant guest service manager for Disney Vacation Club at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and for the Norway and United Kingdom Pavilions at EPCOT in Orlando.



The Culinary Institute of AmericaFounded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degree majors in applied food studies, culinary science, food business management, and hospitality management; associate degrees in baking and pastry arts and culinary arts; and executive education through its Food Business School. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of 49,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.