Avatar photo
BY Abu Mubarik, 12:30pm March 15, 2023,

Meet Charlie Mitchell, NYC’s first Michelin-starred Black chef

Charlie Mitchell. Photo credit: Natalie Black via Today

Charlie Mitchell is a well-known chef born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He learned the art of cooking from his grandmother, with whom he spent many hours in the kitchen preparing a variety of meals.

“I think the thing that stuck with me the most is she used to do this whole fry fish, like whole fry bass all the time when I was younger,” Mitchell recalled. “I think that stood out the most.”

It was therefore not surprising when he decided to pursue a career in the culinary industry. However, to do this, he needed to go beyond what his grandmother taught him, which led him to enroll in a culinary school. But he later realized he preferred hands-on training and found a job in a kitchen after looking up online restaurants in the metro.

“I ended up Googling restaurants in the metro area. Got my first real job,” he said. “And in that kitchen is where I was like, ‘Wow, like I love the way they work. I love how professional it is, using ingredients like I’ve never had, I’ve never learned about.’”

He spent years developing his cooking skills at Eleven Madison Park, before joining Clover Hill when it opened in Brooklyn Heights. He was installed as the executive chef and put in charge of creating the menu.

“Mitchell’s team plates an eight-course tasting menu that regularly changes with the best seasonal foods available, one that currently includes dishes like king crab tartlet, Long Island fluke, and Spanish octopus,” Today news reported.

Mitchell has grown to become the only second Black executive chef in the nation to earn a Michelin Star, and is also the first Black chef in New York City’s history to reach that level. In addition, he was named best young chef by Michelin. 

“That was a complete surprise when they announced that and I was just humbled, you know?” he said in an interview with Today. 

Addressing the historical implication of his achievement, he noted that he was not aware until recently. “You always think about the people, so many people have come before you,” he said, adding, “You just assume that someone has already done this, you know, it doesn’t cross your mind that you may be the first or second to do really anything, especially here in New York City.”

Prior to earning a Michelin Star, Gerald Sombright was the first Black man in America to earn the award for his Orlando-based Knife & Spoon restaurant.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: March 15, 2023


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates