Chef Channon Mondoux of The Eclectic Kitchen
I am a chef, educator, history buff, and I love recreating historical cuisine—especially baklava!
Nearly 30 years ago, I fell in love with historical cuisine. When I read the first authentic medieval recipes I found, it reminded me of how my Memé instructed me on how to make a dish. It was as natural as reading any other cookbook. I once explained to a journalist, “Despite the obscure instructions (or lack of any at all), it was like they were instructing me over my shoulder; I could almost hear them telling the scribe what to do—and in turn, I was able to interpret their meaning.”
As a chef, I am elbows deep in the medium; unlike linguists, I’m not only translating the words. By applying culinary skills and historical knowledge, I manifest these recipes into living, breathing things, to be consumed, enjoyed, and savored.
- Lecturing, teaching, and bespoke culinary services as a chef and food historian.
- Assisting groups for cuisine-related fundraisers. Ask me how I can help your group!
- Teaching via Zoom and in-person private and small group cooking programs in the comfort of my own kitchen.
Connect with me
I currently work as a Chef du Cuisine, and am a personal chef, writer, educator, and culinary consultant and can be reached via this website’s Contact Us page.
My online social accounts, “The Eclectic Kitchen,” regularly feature recipes, culinary adventures, and philanthropic efforts. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
I have spent a great deal of time learning various aspects of cuisine, including taking courses at the Canadian Personal Chef Association, Le Cordon Bleu, Montreal, Canada. I am currently enrolled in the culinary program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and will earn my Associates degree in the next year. Although many of my colleagues tell me it’s not necessary, I want to be able to add that credential to my C.V.
I also studied at the University of Windsor, Teachers College, and obtained my Bachelor of Education in 1993 (in addition to a Bachelor of Psychology); this education has been an invaluable tool in my program development for teaching culinary arts and in dealing with the world in general.
From 2007-2011, I developed and delivered the “Future Chef’s Program” for Fair Food Matters and the City of Kalamazoo, incorporating employable skills, nutrition, physical fitness, and local food and philanthropy as part of the curriculum. I was also the Program Manager and Chef for “Cooking with Style,” a local cooking school, located within a retail kitchen shop. Local high schools, community programs, and private individuals have brought me in to teach a variety of culinary classes.
I have lectured at world-renowned centers, including The Middle Eastern Institute in Washington D.C., University of Ohio’s Experimental Archeology program, the Chicago Culinary Historians, and at numerous local libraries and community groups. I have written, taught, lectured about, and created sumptuous historical feasts across North America.
My work in Ottoman historical cuisine resulted in the publication Celebration at the Sarayi: Reliving A Feast in the Palace of Suleiman the Magnificent. The first of its kind, this history rich, video and music laden electronic book earned a Silver Medal in the Living Now Book Awards, 2009. It also caught the attention of the Turkish Cultural Foundation and resulted in an invitation and a three week trip as a cultural ambassador to Turkey. While there, I cultivated many long-lasting relationships with Turkish authors, chefs, and food historians.
I’m heading back to Turkey this year to learn more about the history of Baklava. Expect to hear much, much more about my Big Book of Baklava!
In 2009, I competed on the Food Network’s “Ultimate Recipe Showdown” in Los Angeles. My recipe, Gingerbread Cake with French Brandy Sauce and Whipped Orange Flower Cream, earned a semi-finalist position out of 53,000 recipes submitted. I received accolades from the judges, who said it was “Christmas incarnate.” Guy Fieri and Mark Summers enjoyed my use of freshly ground dried spices, a hallmark of my defining cuisine featuring ingredients that are timeless, authentic, and intriguing.
I also regularly forage Michigan’s wilds for fresh, unique ingredients for my recipes. This includes wild mushrooms, greens, herbs, flowers, barks, and seeds used in a variety of ways. I love to create unusual syrups, jams, jellies, and condiments using them.
I currently write for Second Wave Media and Now Kalamazoo, and have also written for numerous publications, including the Kalamazoo Gazette, Your Lifestyle, Be Healthy, and industry publications.