written by
Danielle Gadus

Chef Nichole Carpenter

Chefs 2 min read

Explorer, gardener, teacher, artist, chef...

It's all one in the same for Chef Nichole Carpenter who serves up inspiring farm-to-table bites at Chi Omega at the University of Arizona. As beings in this human experience, a few things universally connect us all. Perhaps the most enjoyable, our consumption of food. Chef Nichole knows this well, “Everybody eats! It brings people together [...] creates a sense of home.”

chef job

Exploration Through Food

When you understand the food someone eats, you understand that person. From cultural traditions to die hard habits, our diet is a major expression of our soul. Nichole loves big flavors and having fun with the creative act of cooking. She grew up buying tamales from the lady down the street in Tucson, Arizona. So, it's only natural that the freedom and wild spirit of the American Southwest is infused in her personality and handcrafted dishes. By avoiding rules on what you “should” eat, Nichole is an explorer, experiencing different cultures through the food she creates. This explorative nature allows her to introduce the women of Chi O to wildly new culinary experiences, using food as a method to expand individual's minds and perceptions.

deconstructed meal

It's all a part of the Process

A true woman of the Earth, Chef Nichole spends much of her time gardening, growing nearly everything except for large trees. It allows her to be in touch with the whole process, serving meals garden to table. While bold flavors are at the core of her pallet, she also believes in keeping the integrity of the food! A locally sourced dish with a little lemon on top, simple and executed well is a trademark of her menu.

Understanding the entire process of where your food comes from is so important and gives you so much gratitude while enjoying a meal. She doesn’t let this learning opportunity slip by. She’s always a resource to share her knowledge of food with the women in the house. The explorative attitude seems to be contagious, the biggest hits in the house are the ‘build your own’ stations.

She’s taken the College Chefs Deconstructed Concept and turned it into: Mediterranean spreads, DIY Asian Bowls and burgers with a creative array of toppings. Her style can be condensed into two words: healthy and fresh.

Follow the Journey

Few of us can walk through life, feeling like we’ve truly fulfilled our creative potential. Chef Nichole struck a passion in creating culinary experiences for others. Look out for her dishes featured on our social media pages. Keep up with Nichole and the rest of the incredible team of chefs that make up College Chefs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.