Studies to Influence Menu Planning for Opening Day
ST. LOUIS (January 27, 2010) – As Cardinals players prepare to sharpen their skills on the field during spring training, one key player behind the scenes at Busch Stadium has been sharpening his skills in the kitchen. Jeramie Mitchell, executive chef for Delaware North Companies Sportservice at Busch Stadium, has officially earned ProChef II certification from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), underscoring his personal commitment to giving Cardinals fans a superior culinary experience at the ballpark. Based on his studies, Chef Mitchell may boost local seasonal produce and healthy food offerings in the menus for the upcoming baseball season.
“The ProChef II program is known industry-wide for preparing some of the best chefs in the business, so we commend Chef Mitchell for taking on the effort after such an outstanding and busy year,” said Dan Fetcho, Sportservice district manager. “We’re proud to serve as the home to one of the few ProChef II-certified chefs in St. Louis.”
Ordinarily, chefs who take the certification train several months in advance to prepare for the extensive testing. However, given St. Louis baseball’s recent banner year, Chef Mitchell went from feeding thousands of fans at the All-Star Game, to focusing on serving fans throughout playoff baseball, then immediately jumped into four weeks of intensive certification training. Delaware North’s own Roland Henin, who serves as one of the nation’s 60 Certified Master Chefs and oversees culinary operations at the company’s 200-plus locations, personally mentored Chef Mitchell, drilling him in Delaware North’s kitchens at Yosemite’s Lodge at the Falls and the award-winning Ahwahnee Hotel.
The test, which serves as a benchmark for chefs nationwide, spans four fourteen-hour days, includes seven written exams, and incorporates four practicals assessing students’ baking, Mediterranean, healthy and cold food techniques. Chef Mitchell joined nine other Delaware North chefs taking the test at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in the heart of Napa Valley.
“I knew my skills would be challenged, and quite frankly, there weren’t any guarantees I’d pass,” said Mitchell. “But the entire process was energizing, especially given the camaraderie, the best practices shared by other chefs around the country, and the official judge critique. I’m truly reinvigorated and look forward to passing on key learnings throughout the entire culinary operations here at Busch Stadium.”
“The partnership between Delaware North chefs and the Culinary Institute of America is a mutually rewarding one,” said Tama Murphy, director of the CIA’s Continuing Education department. “When taking the ProChef certification exam, these chefs have shown the ingenuity and creativity that have already set them apart as leaders in their industry. Chef Mitchell continues that fine tradition.”
Chef Mitchell joined Sportservice’s Busch Stadium team in 2002 and played an integral role in opening the new Busch Stadium in 2006. After becoming executive chef, he led culinary operations at the 2006 World Series. During the 2009 All-Star Game, Mitchell oversaw the culinary experience for the 40,000-plus fans attending the events each day inside the stadium, as well as two 4,000-person-plus VIP events. In October 2009, Mitchell assumed the role of regional executive chef overseeing Delaware North’s culinary efforts for the Texas Rangers, the San Diego Padres, the St. Louis Rams, Reno-Sparks Convention Center, the Stockton Arena, the Springfield Cardinals, the Texas RoughRiders, and four additional parks in Arizona for Spring Training.
Mitchell is a certified chef de cuisine by the ACF. He also holds an associate’s degree in culinary arts and a bachelor’s degree in food service management from Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, S.C.