Recipe for success: FS2 James Mitchell

Throughout the year, we’re featuring food service specialists in the Coast Guard. Each profile will come with a recipe so let us know if you want to see a particular recipe in the comments below. Enjoy this “recipe for success” and bon appétit!

Petty Officer 2nd Class James Mitchell, a Coast Guard food service specialist. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 2nd Class James Mitchell, a Coast Guard food service specialist. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk was offshore awaiting a hurricane to pass. The medium endurance cutter was a ghost town below decks, the crew tense in the adverse weather; that is until the smell of a home-cooked chicken potpie wafted through the passageways. The ship came back to life, ready for chow. It was the work of Petty Officer 2nd Class James Mitchell, food service specialist aboard Mohawk.

“Those moments are priceless,” said Mitchell. “You realize the reason why you decided this rate.”

Bolstering the crew during a stressful time is just one of many memories Mitchell recalls during his time of service; and each of these memories involves working together as a team to execute the mission.

“The Coast Guard is a small service and we all have a lot of responsibilities,” said Mitchell. “I had to learn to trust my shipmates and utilize my time, space and people carefully to achieve my mission.”

Petty Officer 2nd Class James Mitchell’s Brazilian salmon recipe. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 2nd Class James Mitchell’s Brazilian salmon recipe. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Mitchell first chose to be a food service specialist while at a recruiter’s office. At the time, he had an application in to attend a culinary school in Chicago, but was drawn to the opportunity of serving his country, traveling the world and learning the culinary trade.

“So far, I have had the experience of traveling to Bahrain, Europe and South America,” said Mitchell. “Additionally I have had the opportunity to live in diverse and interesting cities such as Key West and Miami, and then finding a new home in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., with my fiancé.”

Mitchell is currently stationed at a land unit, and while he may not have to worry about hurricane avoidance and shipboard life, unique challenges remain. As a second class petty officer, he develops contracts and manages kitchen operations for the Coast Guard Yard’s base restaurant, Dry Dock Club. Mitchell admits this may seem mundane on the surface, but the restaurant management skills and culinary advancement has been instrumental and truly beneficial to his professional development.

“Our chief, Ronald Thompson, is constantly educating our crew on business skills and principles while also improving our culinary techniques,” said Mitchell. “The opportunity to run this business has better prepared me moving forward and built my confidence in running my own business.”

One of his favorite meals to prepare is grilled mahi-mahi tacos with a honey lime slaw. Mitchell likes to pair it with jalapeño poppers – fresh jalapeños stuffed with chorizo and cheese then grilled. Mitchell brings similar flavors to the recipe he chose to share below, Brazilian salmon. The salmon is a favorite at local events, earning it the title of their signature dish.

“More and more people request it each time we have an event!” said Mitchell.

Try out the recipe below and tell us what you think in the comments!

Brazilian salmon

1 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of granulated garlic
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of red chili flakes
1 tablespoon of melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse fish fillets.
Pat fillets dry.
Mix all dry ingredients and add the melted butter.
Coat fillets with equal amounts of mixture.
Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
Recommend pairings include rice or cool the salmon and use it atop your favorite salad.

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4 Responses

  1. QM2Broz says:

    I been reading these articles with interest. First, let me say, and I’m not complaining, we didn’t eat like that when I was in.
    These recipes you include…how about adding how many servings they are four. Is this his recipe to feed the entire crew?

  2. LT S. M. Young says:

    Thanks for reading! Great idea about adding serving sizes. We’ll be sure to add that for future articles.

    Very Respectfully,
    Lt. Stephanie Young
    Coast Guard Public Affairs

  3. 5rfamily says:

    PO Mitchell is not only a fabulous chef, but his customer service skills are what most people only dream of! I’m still waiting for the fish taco recipe! 🙂

  4. MICHAEL KENNEY says:

    JAMES MITCHELL IS MY HERO! AND I LOVE HIM!