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Charlie Mitchell is the first Black chef to win Michelin’s New York young chef award

A New York City chef is making a big impact on the world of fine dining.

Mitchell is Black. This is the first time in New York City’s history that a Black chef has reached this feat and he’s just the second Black executive chef in the country to receive the honor.

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

Mitchell said

Mitchell opted to drop out of culinary school, preferring to perfect his craft on the job. The Detroit native worked at top-notch restaurants in Manhattan, which eventually landed him at Brooklyn’s Clover Hill, where he’s executive chef, and created the restaurant’s menu.

“I guess it was challenging but we’re always changing something or we’re always trying to make the dish the best version of itself, right?  So we may tweak it everyday for two weeks, if we have to, to get it to be like the perfect dish,” Mitchell said

Mitchell’s expertise speaks for itself because he made history, which he initially wasn’t aware of.

“I was not, not at the time,” he recalled “You always think about the people, so many people have come before you. 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.”

He added: “I think a lot of times, we’re chasing a very different American dream, then to kind of put up with these aggressive environments that are often led by people who don’t look like us.”

In addition to being Michelin’s 2022 New York Young Chef Award-Winner, Mitchell is also a finalist for a James Beard Award: Emerging Chef.

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Written by Jamil Johnson