Chef Kevin Mitchell’s culinary work embraces traditional American flavors, sumptuous soul food flair and delicate French cuisine. This broad mastery of global and regional techniques earned him the Grumpy Gourmet’s title of “Super Chef.”
Chef Mitchell began his training as a young boy in his grandmother’s kitchen, where he first paid his dues by picking greens – cleaning collard greens, kale and spinach. This experience laid the foundation for his dedication to moving food from the fresh market to a white tablecloth, and he’s steadily climbed up the culinary ranks ever since.
A balance of home teachings with professional training has helped establish Chef Mitchell as the creator of tasty yet healthy fares. Yet his subtlety and refinements were born out of disciplined training earned at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, where he holds two degrees – an Associate degree in Occupational Studies and a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Culinary Arts Management.
In 1996, Chef Mitchell became Chef de Cuisine at the Marble Gang Restaurant and was also inducted into the Columbus Chapter of the American Culinary Federation. Since then, he’s held Sous Chef positions at the Wyandotte Restaurant and the Westin Great Southern Hotel. In 2000, Chef Mitchell became Executive Chef to Cornell University’s most popular dining facility on campus, Willard Straight Dining, which has hosted prestigious events such as “The Cross Country Gourmet,” “Chinese New Year,” “Year of the Snake” and Cornell’s traditional Festival of Black Gospel, infusing a French & Caribbean influence in traditional African American culinary presentations.
In August of 2002 Chef Mitchell dedicated his culinary skills to the Sun Dial Restaurant located in the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The restaurant is one of the only to serve prime dry-aged beef.
In August 2004 Chef Mitchell was promoted to the position of Chef de Cuisine and in March 2005 he was promoted to Executive Sous Chef of the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport Hotel where he oversaw the hotel’s DEMA restaurant and banquet operations. The restaurant featured Asian inspired global cuisine.
In March 2007 Chef Mitchell served as Executive Sous Chef of Seldom Blues Supper Club in downtown Detroit, where he assisted Corporate Chef Jerry Nottage in the day to day kitchen operations. From there Chef Mitchell became Palette Chef at the MGM Grand Detroit Hotel and Casino. There he oversaw all production of a 600 seat Tapas style buffet concept in the Casino with an average cover count of 1500 meals per day.
In December of 2008 Chef Mitchell became the first African American Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston located within Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina. At the Institute Chef Mitchell is involved in designing new curriculum for new students as well as teach classes. Chef Mitchell ran the test kitchen for the Gullah Cuisine cookbook, authored by Chef Charlotte Jenkins of Gullah Cuisine restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, SC., and published by Joggling Board Press. Working with Chef Jenkins, he tested all of the recipes for the book.
In March 2009 became the Executive Director of the BCA Charleston Chapter with its’ inception during the Diversity Dinner in conjunction with Charleston Wine and Food Festival. Chef Mitchell also was Chef Coordinator for Gullah Luncheon, BB&T Charleston Wine & Food Festival.
In March 2009 Chef Mitchell officially founded the student BCA Chapter at the Dining for Diversity The CIC/BCA Chapter will be working with the Lowcountry Food Bank in its training kitchen, which will provide meals to over 1,000 people in the Food Bank’s Kids Café programs. The students will train participants in kitchen work flow, sanitation, safe food handling methods, and farm-to-table sourcing.
In June 2010 Chef Mitchell was a guest chef at Marvin Wood’s Live Healthy & Thrive Expo, Atlanta, Ga. Chef Mitchell was also a guest chef at Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School in Savannah Georgia in September 2010.
In November of 2011 Chef Mitchell earned his Certified Executive Chef designation from the American Culinary Federation as well as his Certified Food Service Educator designation from the Food Service Educators Learning Community.
In April of 2012 Chef Mitchell became the secretary of the newly formed Edna Lewis Foundation, who mission is to honor, cultivate, and preserve, the rich African-American culinary history by offering a variety of events and programs designed to educate, inspire, entertain, and promote a deeper understanding of Southern culinary culture and heritage.
In May of 2013 Chef Mitchell has appointed to the Board of Slow Foods Charleston. Slow Foods Charleston is an 8 year-old, local non-profit convivium (chapter) of Slow Food USA. Slow Food is an idea, a way of living, and a way of eating. Slow Food Charleston is part of a global grassroots movement that supports, preserves, and promotes local food systems and good nutrition for all.
In March of 2015 Chef Mitchell was selected to participate in the James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change on Avery Island, Louisiana.
In April 2015, Chef Mitchell was Chef Coordinator for Nat Fuller’s Feast, a recreation of a banquet held in Charleston in 1865 by renowned chef and caterer Nat Fuller. The original feast, held at Fuller’s famous Bachelor’s Retreat restaurant, was the first to bring together both black and white patrons to break bread in a celebration of the end of the Civil War.
In August 2016 Chef Mitchell will begin his graduate studies at the University of Mississippi. There he will focus on Southern Foodways, the preservation of Southern ingredients and the history of African Americans in the culinary arts.
Chef Mitchell is an active member of the American Culinary Federation, as well as a founding father of the BCA, Bridging Culinary Awareness, formally the Black Culinarian Alliance.
Throughout his professional career, Chef Mitchell has maintained a commitment to promoting the value of professionally trained chefs, and he has volunteered his time and talents to various non-profit organizations where he has showcased his culinary skills.
Kevin E. Mitchell, CEC, CFSE, ACE
Chef Instructor, Culinary Institute of Charleston
Secretary, Edna Lewis Foundation
Board Member, Slow Foods Charleston
Graduate Student, University of Mississippi