While not suiting up for an NFL team for the first time in a decade, Mitchell Schwartz has delved into other pursuits, particularly his passion of cooking.
The former All-Pro lineman posts “Mitch in the Kitch” cooking videos on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and his blog of the same name.
The videos, which are shot in his kitchen by a professional videographer, don’t mean the right tackle, who started 7,894 consecutive snaps, has aspirations of becoming the next Food Network star or opening his own restaurant.
“I’m kind of just doing it for fun,” Schwartz exclusively shared. “I don’t know where it will lead or if it will lead to anything, but honestly, I like to eat, I like to cook and I like kind of sharing my knowledge with people.”
Food isn’t the only endeavor for Schwartz, who the Chiefs released along with left tackle Eric Fisher in March of 2021 to save more than $18 million against the salary cap.
Schwartz also has spent the 2021 season analyzing football. He posts a “Daily Dose” on social media, where he breaks down Chiefs plays along the line of scrimmage. He also appears on KCSP-AM 610 every Tuesday at 3 p.m. with Carrington Harrison and is a regular guest on Robert Mays’ The Athletic Football Show podcast.
His various multimedia gigs aren’t an indication the 32-year-old Schwartz, who had started 16 games every year since entering the league in 2012 before suffering a back injury last year, has retired.
“I’m just trying to get fully healthy,” Schwartz said, “and then I feel like I can make that determination.”
He still rehabs his back injury, which he suffered during a Week Six victory against the Buffalo Bills in 2020, a few days a week.
The injury required offseason surgery, and he is still experiencing some nerve pain.
There is no set timeline for when that discomfort will alleviate, but the good news is that it did not require a more invasive fusion surgery, which would have put his career in serious peril.
Five years into this NFL career, Schwartz had written a book called Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family, and Faith with his brother, Geoff.
But he doesn’t have plans for a cookbook, joking he lacks the requisite number of recipes.
Instead he’s enjoying his “Mitch in the Kitch” posts.
Schwartz, who settled in Kansas City and is moving into a new house there, gets satisfaction when people see him around town and tell him how much they have enjoyed the videos.
“I’m kind of blown away by the amount of people that I meet here who say that they watch it and follow along,” he said.
Schwartz started messing around in the kitchen as a teenager. He would come home after school — when he didn’t have practice — and make himself a creative snack.
“I was a big, growing kid,” he said, chuckling, “so I couldn’t really make it from lunch all the way to dinner.”
His current focus as a cook is on becoming more well-rounded. Like a true lineman, he concerns himself with the protein first.
But he wants to create more interesting side dishes and vegetables beyond green beans, carrots and broccoli.
“I kind of get stuck in a rut with that,” Schwartz said. “You’re trying to figure out a better way to incorporate more vegetables, more variety, more flavor.”
Since Schwartz was last on the team, the Chiefs have overhauled their offensive line with five new starters.
In Week One that line featured three rookies, including center Creed Humphrey, who has received rave reviews.
Offensive line coach Andy Heck recently compared Humphrey’s smarts and football IQ to his former player.
“He’s able to really take in a lot of information and he’s got it on the first shot,” Heck said, “like Mitch Schwartz.”
Schwartz has been impressed with Heck’s new grouping.
The quartet of Humphrey, Orlando Brown, Joe Thuney and Trey Smith have started every game. Lucas Niang and Mike Remmers have both started at right tackle, Schwartz’s former position.
“The o-line’s looked good,” Schwartz said. “It’s exciting to know that this is kind of the floor of what you can expect for their performance. I think they’ll just keep getting better as they get more experience.”
While playing for the Chiefs, Schwartz used to have his offensive linemates over for dinner during NFL draft night and the kickoff weekend of college football.
They were potluck meals, but Schwartz provided the meat. KC Cattle Company, which is known for its wagyu beef, The Upper Cut and Bichelmeyer Meats are a few of his main suppliers for his steaks, burgers, ribs or brisket.
He hopes to resume those meals soon. Right now he’s being cautious.
In the Covid-19 era, he’d hate to unknowingly infect a player. But the new house he’s moving into will have a large outdoor space in the backyard with a pool and a hot tub.
“At that point,” Schwartz said, “I’ll have some nice cookouts with them.”