HOMETOWN: St. Louis, MO
CURRENT CITY OF RESIDENCE: Houston, TX
OCCUPATION/PROFESSION: Chef, Owner & Pitmaster, B’tween Sandwich Co.
Michelle Wallace fell in love with food and cooking for her friends while studying healthcare administration at Texas Southern University. Her passion turned into a job years later when her cousin, a player on the NFL’s Houston Texans, started paying her to make meals for him and his teammates, leading her to pivot and enroll in culinary school. After graduating from the Art Institute of Houston, Michelle worked in the famed fine-dining kitchen of Pêche before moving onto a high-end catering company that led to an opportunity with James Beard-nominated veteran Houston pitmaster Greg Gatlin. After spending six years learning the ways of a pitmaster and honing her skills as the Executive Chef at Gatlin’s BBQ, Chef Michelle was nominated for CultureMap Houston’s Rising Star Chef in 2021. After being chosen as part of James Beard’s cohort TasteTwenty for their culinary series “Taste America,” Michelle started a new endeavor and launched B’tween Sandwich Co. in Houston in 2023. Beginning with local pop-up events around the city, B’tween Sandwich Co. blends various culinary techniques while specializing in comfort food, smoked meats and traditional fare for creative sandwich lovers.