Chef Kevin Mitchell’s culinary work embraces traditional American flavors, sumptuous soul food flair, and delicate French cuisine. He 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 farmers market to the white tablecloth. His subtlety and refinements were born out of disciplined training at the Culinary Institute of America, where he received an Associate degree in Occupational Studies and a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree in Culinary Arts Management.
Chef Mitchell’s restaurant career began in 1996. He started as chef de cuisine at the Marble Gang Restaurant in Columbus, OH; following as executive chef of Cornell University’s most popular dining facility on campus, Willard Straight Dining; sous chef at Sun Dial Restaurant in Atlanta’s Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel; executive sous chef at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport Hotel; executive sous chef of Seldom Blues Supper Club in downtown Detroit; and Palette Chef at the MGM Grand Detroit Hotel and Casino.
In December of 2008 Chef Mitchell became the first African American Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, Trident Technical College, Charleston, South Carolina. He 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 The Evening Post Publishing Company. Working with Chef Jenkins, he tested all of the recipes for the book.
Throughout his professional career, Chef Mitchell has promoted the value of professionally trained chefs and volunteered his time and talent to non-profit organizations. A founder of the BCA, Bridging Culinary Awareness (formally the Black Culinarian Alliance) in March, 2009, Chef Mitchell became the Executive Director of the BCA Charleston Chapter. Its formation was celebrated at the Culinary Institute of Charleston’s Diversity Dinner for the 2010 Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Chef Mitchell also was Chef Coordinator for Festival’s Gullah Luncheon. In November, 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, 2012, Chef Mitchell became the secretary of the newly formed Edna Lewis Foundation, whose mission is to honor, cultivate, and preserve the rich African-American culinary. In May, 2013, Chef Mitchell was appointed to the Board of Slow Food Charleston, the local chapter of Slow Food USA. Chef Mitchell is an active member of the American Culinary Federation and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners Operators and Developers.