Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chef Mial Parker

Chef Mial wasn't a good friend to me but a colleague. He lived his life fast and large. He paid the price for it but left a legacy of students who loved him, colleagues who admired him and chefs who envied him. He was a great chef and a passionate teacher. He gave it all to his students hoping they would find the satisfaction that he did in this industry. I am positive many did and will carry on his life's work with the same fun and enthusiasm that Chef Mial gave to the world.
I will miss his wry wit and sexist jokes... the crazy way he made a point when he either loved or hated something... like the time he was giving the nutritional final for his class... he loathed the idea of healthy to make this point after the students finished cooking what was required in the curriculum he had them all prepare a banquet for the entire school consisting of fried baloney, cheese whiz and potato chip sandwiches on squishy white bread with tater tots on the side and for dessert... fried twinkies! I laughed until I cried and I ate that food that I personally detest, since after all the point was made and he cooked for us all... He made me laugh, he made me mad, I loved the guy and I will miss him... sorry you had to leave so soon Mial...


dmg said...

I will never forget the first time I met Chef Mial. He was wearing a pink suit & was the life of the party despite being the only one not drinking. I didn't know if he was a pimp or a chef! This was my first day working at PCI in February 2006. I am shocked & saddened by his passing away. He was not ready to go. Despite his health problems he and I had been talking about me helping him prepare for the wine pairing portion of the Certified Master Chef exam. You will be greatly missed my friend!

mitchell.frieder said...

I worked with Mial at The Art Institute. He was a wonderful guy. The most fun! A great, passionate teacher. (...and what a pack-rat! He owned at least one of everything culinary!)

His sequined Mad Hatter hat he wore for Cajun Creole events was my favorite.

Does anyone know if there are there details out about his funeral, or if there will be a memorial?

chefany said...

The school will have a memorial after the first of the year... stay posted on the PCI facebook page and I am sure they will post it there to let all the students know...

Chef Dan Leff said...

Chef Mial was my Garde Manger instructor at the California Culinary Academy. He rode BART to/from school with myself and some of the other students. A dedicated and honest man, he will be missed.

Eric said...

Chef Mial and I became friends and colleagues in 1990. We were both part of the 1992 Culinary Olympic Team. Mial was west coast and I was on the central team. It was a great two years, in my eyes he was a Master Chef. His works were masterpieces. I was fortunate enough to once again meet up with Mial at the 2008 Olymipcs as spectators. It was great we were able to pick up right where we left off.Chef Mial was a great man and culinarian I will miss him dearly.
Eric Neri CEC, CCA

robby said...

Chef Mial Parker was my chef instructor at PCI. Not only was he my instructor he was my mentor and my friend. He pushed me every day and fed my passion for learning fine foods. He taught me not just about food and about cooking but about life. He changed my life for the better and I will carry on both his lessons and his legacy. I will always remember the funny lil sayings he had and will always laugh every time i see worchestershire sauce since he used to put it in everything

J Sanchez said...

I cant believe he's gone. Shows how far and long I've been out of the loop, here I am finding out two years too late. I learned so much about culinary competition, presentation, and just being a pretty hardcore chef from Chef Parker. His final practical exams were always a party. He taught us to work hard and play hard when the work was done. Thanks for letting me assist you in your competitions Chef, I will certainly never forget the lessons you taught me.

Bakinbtty said...

I to am 2 yrs too late. Chef Parker was my mentor. He was hard but fair, most of all he saw more in me as a chef than I did and with his oh so "loving" way he brought out the best in me. So many times over the years I have found his harsh words coming out of MY mouth when I was directing others in the kitchen! My intentions were to find him and thank him one day for all that he did for sorry I waited. You will be missed! "YES, CHEF!"

Unknown said...

Hi ,I was chef Mial's apprentice at the 1992 culinary olympic team.I spoke to Mial a month or so before his passing.He was a great man ,a great chef ,a "great cook" as he always said he wanted to be remembered but most of all a great friend.We spent a lot of time both in and out of the kitchen thru out my time in San Francisco.Which also included seeing Metallica together which is a whole story.I miss u booby.If someone sees this post and could contact me I have a few questions.Thanks, Dan shootman 801-244-3713

Pammy said...

I grew up with him! This is so sad. As in Mial lived next door to me and was working at the Chop house. Many years I have looked for him just to find this. So sad. I had the BIGGEST crush on him. I was 15 and he was 28, he let me down so nice LOL. I love you Mial Parker, you are missed! Pam Doss Tinsley

wannabetvchefblog said...

I've been meaning to add these few words since we last spoke shortly after
Mial died. I'm currently writing an article about the upcoming Culinary
Olympics (October 2016) and this event always reminds me of Mial and gold medals he won.

We worked together at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, in Amsterdam (5 stars),
a real iconic place to work with two kitchens and a brigade of 40 chefs.

I remember him as a likeable man, the affable life and soul of the party in
social situations and always had a smile on his face often sharing his wry wit.

In the kitchen there also a steeliness to his personality, an inner drive that I
greatly admired. Being younger than him I wasn't quite as obsessed with the
culinary arts at that time. Whilst he waxed lyrically about eating at Paul Bocuse's
3 Michelin-starred restaurant in Lyon, I wanted to drink beer and chase girls.

Years later by chance, I ran into him in Washington D.C at the Capitol building,
he was there with the rest of the American team in the build-up to the Olympics.
Being feted by the press and fawned over by several members of congress, Mial
was just the same, friendly, modest, not at all affected by the attention.
The buffet was the official press launch and after it was over we sat and chatted
for an hour, catching on news, as the handlers of the function tried in vain to
steer him away.

chefany said...

You made me miss hiM! Thank you for this, I only wish I had seen it sooner!!