Patrick Mitchell

Executive Chef/Culinary Advisor, Ben E. Keith Foods
“When I was a young boy, my mother always had a garden in the back yard. Ever since the age of about 10 years old, I was the one who helped her with it. Through that experience I learned what was involved in growing vegetables. Starting from preparing the soil all the way to harvest, it was such a wonderful process. We would rent a tiller at the beginning of the season and I would run it back and forth through the garden. That was after I got the hang of it, in the beginning that tiller ran me back and forth! Once the soil was tilled, we would plant the seeds, then water and fertilize and wait for the first sprouts. It was like magic to a kid seeing these sprouts break through the soil and turn into a plant, then ultimately produce the harvest. I was in awe as I saw how Brussels sprouts grew on the stalk and tasted a beautifully ripe tomato, still warm from the sun, right off the plant. One of my favorite things was to cut a stalk of rhubarb and dip it in a little sugar and enjoy that sweet and sour combination. My mom made the best rhubarb pies! To this day, a slice of rhubarb pie takes me right back to those days.”
“As a young child, my grandmother had a garden in our backyard and while she was cooking, she would ask me to go pick jalapenos, tomatoes, and squash. That garden made a big impression on me and my life. I believe that is where my passion for food and fellowship developed. On Sundays our family would gather at my grandparents’ home to eat and laugh. I believe that no matter what happens in life there is no better feeling than gathering around the dinner table with your family and friends.”