TWU nutrition alumna finds new path to health and happiness

TWU nutrition alumna Michelle Tribble
TWU nutrition alumna Michelle Tribble

Texas Woman’s alumna Michelle Tribble (BAS ’16) made a name for herself as a culinary superstar. But just as tastes change, so too do dreams, and Tribble has decided to return to her alma mater to help her carve a new path in the food world.

Tribble’s dreams of a culinary career began with cooking with her family as a child, which also expanded her palate.

“Half of my family is Hispanic, and the other half is European, so I grew up with a good mix of a lot of great food,” she said.

After earning her associate’s degree at El Centro Community College and then transferring to TWU to earn her BAS in Culinary Science and Food Service Management, Tribble went on to win Season 17 All-Stars edition of Hell’s Kitchen. She served as head chef at Hell’s Kitchen restaurant at Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas for two and a half years. In the beginning, it was a dream job for the young chef, but after COVID-19 shut down the restaurant, she found herself reevaluating her personal and professional goals and decided to move on.

“At that point in my career, simply making delicious food wasn’t satisfying me anymore,” she said. “Although I love cooking, the restaurant industry is full of negative health implications, both physical and mental. I myself have struggled with good food practices, and I find more satisfaction using food in a healthy way and focusing on bettering my health and others as well. Working at Hell’s Kitchen wasn’t allowing me to do that, so I decided to leave.”

That decision has led Tribble back to Texas and TWU to complete her post-baccalaureate degree in nutrition (dietetics) before pursing her MS in Nutrition. In addition to being closer to her family once again, this move is allowing Tribble to explore food in a whole new way.

“While working towards my BAS, I took many different nutrition courses, and they really fascinated me,” said Tribble. “Being a chef, we focus mainly on flavor, but the science behind what happens to the food we eat is at the core of why we eat food. In addition, food has the ability to heal. I’m excited to learn more about food beyond what a restaurant can teach me.”

Tribble’s new career goal is to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, but she’s not done making a name for herself.

“I look forward to my future in nutrition and hope to help people create delicious and healthy meals,” she said. “I plan to use my culinary and food science background, along with nutrition, to really make a difference in the food world!”

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Ray Willhoft
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rwillhoft@twu.edu

Page last updated 2:38 PM, September 24, 2020