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Army veteran turned Richmond Chef Tyenella Hall: 'Cooking saved my life'

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Posted at 7:25 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 19:41:43-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Philadelphia native turned Richmonder Tyenella Hall says being in the kitchen, whipping up some of her Nana’s handwritten recipes lifts her spirits like nothing else can.

“Cooking saved my life, period,” said Hall, an Army veteran and licensed nurse who found herself suffering with PTSD after a tragic loss.

Hall, who never shies away from her truth, said cooking was the one thing that helped.

“With my PTSD, cooking gave me a regimen that allowed me to step outside of being stuck inside of a bubble with medication," Hall said. explained. "So as a result of cooking, I no longer have to take medication."

A year after her loss, with renewed strength, Chef Tye stepped into her calling.

“I pivoted into becoming a full time chef in 2011," Hall added. "My traumatic experience is my grandma passing away in 2010. She gave me her blessing to do something that I love -- and that was going back to school to get my degree in culinary arts.”

From earning a degree in culinary and pastry arts, to a Bachelor’s in hotel restaurant management and a Master’s in business, Chef Tye has been soaring ever since.

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Chef Tyenella Hall

These days she and husband Reggie run T&R Catering company, have a food truck about to hit the streets of Richmond—and you can catch her hosting her own TV show, “From The Bottom of The Pot,” featured on Taste On TV.

“It’s a Black-owned network for Black and Brown chefs across the USA. Worldwide, actually," Hall noted. "We have a few chefs filming from Africa."

The name of the cooking show is a nod to her West Philly roots, the Manchua district.

It is a place she says is referred to as the Black Bottom, which is symbolic of the message she shares with others who find themselves weighed down by life’s obstacles.

Chef Tye is convinced the best ingredients are always found in the bits that you scrape from the bottom of the pot.

“In life we have to scrape ourselves up sometime. We have to pick ourselves back up. So sometimes some of the best things are found at the bottom," Hall explained. "I don’t want people to forget that just because you are there doesn’t mean that’s your end result. It could be your new start."

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Chef Tyenella Hall

Chef Tye and her husband plan to debut their food truck, “Hook’s Lunchbox,” as part of Richmond’s Black Restaurant Experience in March.

Download the Taste On TV app on Roku to catch her show, which has been on the streaming network since September of 2020.

Chef Tye said she is thrilled that they recently reached 1.5 million views on all streaming platforms.

"From The Bottom Of The Pot" airs Thursdays at 7 and 10 p.m.

Click here for more information on Chef Tye.