Sheri's Smoked Mac and Cheese

Ed Mitchell’s daughter Sheri learned to take mac and cheese to a new level in her time spent in political circles in Washington D.C. One big take-away – grate your own cheese instead of buying the grated; it makes the dish creamier.

Though I grill year round, even in the snow, it’s so much more pleasant to do so when the weather is more cooperative. And, just in time for summer, my friend Carrie Bachman sent me a copy of “Ed Mitchell’s Barbeque: Celebrating the Eastern North Carolina Whole Hog Barbeque of my African American Ancestors,” by Ed Michell and son Ryan Mitchell (Ecco $35). Carrie thought it would be perfect for such upcoming holidays as Juneteenth and Father’s Day.

Mitchell, an American pitmaster and businessman, advocates for the use of heritage breed pork in his frequent media appearances. This earned him the title of the most famous pitmaster in North Carolina. He was also inducted into both the Black BBQ Hall of Fame and the National Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2022. He believes that the flavor and taste of barbecue when he was young came about because the pigs they used were free-ranging and raised on traditional foods. Ed’s beliefs led him to partner with North Carolina A&T State University’s farm-raised pig program as a way of encouraging chefs to support naturally-raised pigs.


Ed Mitchell went head-to-head with Food Network star Bobby Flay and won. In his first cookbook, written with his son Ryan Mitchell, they share the recipes that made Mitchell famous.

Ed's Mouthwatering Baby Back Ribs

Ed Mitchell’s ribs are so good they beat the ones made by Bobby Flay.

Watermelon sweet tea

Watermelon Sweet Tea is a take on the classic sweet tea that’s popular in the South. Here it’s made with watermelon, which really helps quench thirst on a hot summer day.

Pineapple upside down cake

For the Mitchells, it’s all about family, and everyone shares recipes. This family recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake became the most requested dessert at the Mitchell’s restaurant.

Jane Ammeson can be contacted via email at or by writing to Focus, The Herald-Palladium, P.O. Box 128, St. Joseph, MI 49085.