Chef Mitchell, owner of the Asian Culinary Consulting Company, was recently invited by KDU Penang's School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts to serve as a guest lecturer for a week. This is part of the School's 'masterclass' initiatives where industry experts are invited to share with the School's students, the latest techniques and trends in the industry. In this instance, Chef Mitchell went beyond the call and prepared a full-course Miami inspired luncheon for a privileged group of invited guests and staff of KDU Penang at the Bon Apetit Restaurant on 30 May 2013.
A celebrity Chef in his own right, Chef Mitchell graduated from The Culinary Institute of America following which, he honed his renowned culinary skills at some of America's most prominent culinary outlets including at the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' Fleet Food & Beverage Operations & Development and Kaehler Culinary Consulting, amongst others. He currently owns the Asian Culinary Consulting Company, which undertakes culinary consulting, and restaurant management for some of the best dining establishments in Malaysia. Given his international culinary experience, his culinary demo was a treat to KDU Penang's invited guests and staff.
Staying true to his native Miami roots, Chef Mitchell together with KDU Penang's own Celebrity Chef Lecturer, Chef Darren, and a team of senior chef students rolled out mouthwatering culinary creations such as Prawn & Sweet Potato Cake, Tropical Seafood Ceviche, Mesculin Spring Mix Salad, Dragon Fruit & Fuji Apple Sorbet, Asian BBQ Braised Lamb Shank, Miami Mojo-marinated Grilled Chicken Breast over Black Beans, Rice & Roasted Corn with Pineapple-Corn Salsa and Pina Colada Cheesecake. All the culinary delights created that day were also extra unique considering that the majority of them had corn as an accompanying ingredient, thanks to KDU's collaboration with Mascorn, one of Malaysia's top corn growers and suppliers.
Invited guests, comprising industry counterparts and the Press, were delighted when Chef Mitchell took time out from the kitchen to pose for photographs with them as well as explain the concept behind his creations. When asked about his advice to KDU's professional chef trainee students during his masterclass sharing session, Chef Mitchell said that in culinary arts and restaurant management, it is imperative that chefs should help to preserve sustainability of food source in the culinary industry and that it was important not to waste natural resources even in the food production process. By only opting for products that are readily available and not those that are difficult to replenish, a chef's decision is important when it comes to preparing the menu. Citing an example from his previous employment with a cruise liner, "Our lobster tails were especially popular among the diners. One day, I received a call from a supplier who said that in a year or two, the supply of lobster tails may not be enough to meet demands. As such, we had to quickly make some serious decisions to create new dishes in less than 7 days", he said.
Academic Head for KDU Penang's School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, Ms. Cindy Loh said that it is a privilege to have someone as renowned as Chef Mitchell to share his culinary knowledge with the students especially on the methods of making Pate and Terrine, Seafood Sausages and Gravlax. She also commented that masterclasses such as these are part of KDU's experiential learning initiatives to bring the industry closer to the students and this is important as the culinary industry is reinventing itself all the time, from being just a blue collar vocational job to a professionally labeled career. "As the pioneer in the Northern Region for hospitality and professional chef training for 22 years, we are proud to continuously enrich our programs with the latest teaching and training techniques such as industry collaborations and projects, educational workshops and guest chef demonstrations. We are also especially proud to also share that two of our culinary students recently had the honor of serving in the Raja of Perlis's Royal Service at the Arau Palace in Perlis".