Chef Charlie Mitchell made history when the MICHELIN Guide honored him with the 2022 MICHELIN Guide New York Young Chef Award

Mitchell is the executive chef and co-owner of Brooklyn restaurant Clover Hill, an intimate 30-seat fine-dining establishment. The restaurant opened in 2019 and took an unfortunate hit due to the pandemic, which caused the location to stop serving the public until Feb. 2022. However, since reopening, the MICHELIN Guide has given the upscale restaurant a star rating for its unique seasonal menus.


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“Once I started in professional kitchens, I fell in love with the craft and it became my main source of motivation,” the 30-year said in an interview with the MICHELIN Guide. “Taking on the challenge of treating ingredients properly and learning more and more techniques keeps cooking fun for me. I believe if you take that approach guests will love everything you do, which is the ultimate payoff.”

There had never been a Black chef to reach this esteemed status in New York City until Mitchell was honored in Oct. 2022, making him the second Black MICHELIN-starred executive chef in the nation. He was surprised when he was awarded the accolade and was more shocked to learn he held a new title.

“You always think about the people, so many people have come before you,” he told TODAY. “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.”

Inspired by his grandmother’s cooking, the Detroit native grew a love for culinary arts and turned his passion into a full-time career.

“My initial inspiration for cooking came from my grandmother. She showed me how special cooking can be and how easily a good meal can change someone’s day. The time and effort she put into cooking for family and friends has always been impressive,” he told the MICHELIN Guide.

To become a true student of the profession, he went to culinary school to learn and perfect his skills. While in school, he realized he preferred to learn different cooking methods, recipes, the cultural history of a particular food, etc., in an action-packed kitchen atmosphere.

“I ended up Googling restaurants in the metro area. Got my first real job,” he told TODAY. “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 hopes other people of color become inspired by his achievement and consider culinary arts a prosperous career even though the initial payment may begin at a different amount than they’d prefer.

“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,” he said.

Mitchell also wants the food he and his team prepare to leave patrons with an unforgettable taste, making them “excited” and “inspired.” In addition, he doesn’t want to be the last Black person in New York to win this accolade.