Welcome our Executive Chef, Daniel Mitchell
Just being from New Orleans doesn't make you a chef; but it does give you a leg up on the competition though. Being born and raised there, cooking has always been a part of my life and has definitely influenced every aspect of my life.
Growing up in the Big Easy wasn't always easy, but food was always an integral part of life. Peeling shrimp with mom and seasoning gumbo with grandma were the first steps of my culinary career. As my years increased so did the menus and techniques.
They say that college is where you’re supposed to figure out what you’re supposed to do for the rest of your life. Well, maybe or maybe not. However, it did in my case. After moving back to New Orleans from Baton Rouge, I got my first kitchen job. I was washing dishes and making po-boys at my favorite neighborhood dive. After a year or so goes by, it was time to make one of my first adult decisions; whether or not to go to culinary school. I enrolled and to my surprise, it wasn’t easy to get into. I made it through and started the next step of my career
As I went through the three year apprenticeship program, I expanded my repertoire from po-boys to working at the Sazerac at the Fairmont Hotel (currently The Roosevelt). There, we served sorbet on the backs of illuminated ice swans, duck confit and the tableside cooking was phenomenal. After a while, I moved on to Arnaud’s, one of the oldest family owned restaurants in New Orleans and my favorite (totally unbiased). Here we did soufflé potatoes, turtle soup and of course shrimp Remoulade. The next step for me was to a small locally owned restaurant named Herbsaint. Although a small bistro, it was my first time being a sous chef and I learned a lot from being so hands on. Graduation was next on the menu and little did I know, I was about to move to Alabama.
During my last semester of culinary school, I started dating a girl living in Birmingham (she was originally from New Orleans, thankfully) and somehow she convinced me to leave the Crescent City for the Magic City. The change was more than I expected and took a little longer to take than I thought it would. Although the cuisines were completely different, the love and passion for their local dishes were the same.
I started my Alabama career at Greystone Golf & Country Club in 1999. The journey at Greystone brought many hats, challenges and opportunities. I am so thankful for all the twists and turns that led me to Birmingham and look forward to many more years and many more satisfied palates.
The next evolution in my Alabama culinary career took me to Grille 29 at Brookwood Village. The opening of this restaurant was full of excitement, successes, failures, disasters and victories. Opening a restaurant is never easy, but I made it through and am leaving it in a position for success.
Just as a recipe has to evolve over time, the shrimp peeling teachings as a child from my mom has led me to where I am today and I can't wait to share my experiences with you here at Inverness Country Club.
And as for that girlfriend that talked me into moving to Alabama. We are happily married after eighteen years with two beautiful daughters and are proud to call Alabama home.