After spending the past decade working as a private chef in California, Mitchell Allen has amassed a rather dazzling résumé by anyone’s standards.
The Kansas City chef has cooked all over the world, working for several families in addition to cooking for a few celebrities like Kobe Bryant and Christina Aguilera. He even spent a few years cooking on a private yacht.
“I worked for some really amazing families when I was in California; the last one, I cooked for for 8 years,” says Allen. “It was hard to say goodbye to their children when the time came, as I had seen them grow up over those years I worked for them, but they were moving and I was needed in Kansas City.”
Allen returned to Kansas City in January to help care for his father who had fallen ill. When COVID-19 hit, he was just glad to be somewhere safe. His father unexpectedly passed in June, and he was grateful for the time he had with him this year. The experience made him realize what else he was missing out on.
“I have always loved traveling all around the world cooking for celebrities and on yachts; it is all very exciting when you are a young and single, but being here has made me realized how much I miss being close to my own family,” he says. “I want to have a house and a dog like everyone else – something I couldn’t have when I was a traveling knife for hire.”
Now, Allen is back in Kansas City for good and looking for local couples and families interested in hiring a private chef to create different menus for a busy household during these crazy times.
Allen knows that families in Kansas City might not be ready to hire a full-time private chef, but he is hopeful that he can put together enough work to keep him busy here. He plans to split his time as needed between several families in addition to catering holiday parties, special occasion meals and even teaching cooking classes.
Want the chance to experience a private chef in your own home? Allen has also launched a new in-home dining experience called Supper Circle, a three-course interactive dinner. You bring the wine and invite your friends, and he will cook and feed you a delicious three-course meal for $85 to $100 per person, depending on the final menu. The experience brings a chef and restaurant-quality food to you in your home, so you can safely enjoy a delicious meal with people in your own circle.
“I have worked for years as a restaurant chef, caterer, sommelier and as a private chef,” says Allen. “My main goal is to provide a culinary experience that is unparalleled with professional service, attention to detail and creative and flavorful menus that highlight dishes from all over the globe.”
A Scottsdale Culinary Institute grad, Allen left Kansas City in 2009 after working in several popular restaurant kitchens including Yaya’s Euro Bistro, Grand Street Café, 40 Sardines and Bluestem. Ready to broaden his culinary horizons, he headed west to California and got a job working at culinary pioneer Roy Yamaguchi's Roy’s at Newport Beach. Here, he immersed himself in the restaurant's upscale Hawaiian-inspired cuisine, which blended formal French techniques with flavors from the Pacific Rim. It was an experience that stuck with Allen, and the influences of his time there can still be seen in his food today.
His first private chef opportunity came to him at a party where, after falling in love with a particular dish, one of the guests asked him on the spot to come and cook for his busy family. It was his first time working as a private chef and the experience was eye-opening; it kept him on his toes.
“It is a much different skill set needed when you are working as a private chef in someone’s home versus a commercial kitchen in a restaurant,” Allen says. “You cannot play your own music as you prep, you must be as quiet as possible while you are cooking, you must clean up after yourself. You have to know your place in the house, and you are there to cook.”
Allen continued working as a private chef, finding work through several placement services. Over time, he built up a book of good referrals, which opened doors to even more jobs – like when he cooked for the late LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant before home games at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. From a hotel across the street, Allen served Bryant a strict menu at different intervals throughout the day so he would be fueled up for the big game that night. His job was simply to prepare his food and have it ready for him on time.
Cooking for pop singer Christina Aguilera, however, came with more freedom and room for creativity. “She loved my comfort food, and pretty much let me make whatever I wanted to, which was such an honor,” Allen says.
Today, he says it would be an honor to be invited into any home in Kansas City to cook, teach and serve his delicious dishes to anyone interested in enjoying a fine-dining experience at home.
To book chef Mitchell Allen for a Supper Circle or reach out to him about hiring him to cook for you family, teaching a cooking class or catering a party, you can reach him on Facebook or by email at email@example.com.
Supper Circle by chef Mitchell Allen, chefmitchellallen.com