New WT executive chef brings ‘world of experience’ to kitchen

Local News

Courtesy West Texas A&M University

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — With a new executive chef at West Texas A&M University, picky college palates are no problem, according to a news release from WTs communications dept.

Chef Julio Rubio, 49, was a longtime resident of New York, and he arrived on campus in the spring to lead the team of Aramark employees who provide daily meals in the university Dining Hall and according to WT, Rubio is responsible for catering and food innovation on campus. 

The release stated that Chef Rubio was born in El Salvador and emigrated at 6-years-old to the United States, where his family settled in Yonkers, N.Y. After Rubio worked with his father, who was also a chef, in the kitchen Rubio apprenticed under Chef Willie Nuenlist and trained in classical French techniques, rising through the ranks in the Hilton Hotels International Corp. 

“After 30 years of cooking, I have found a way of making people happy,” Rubio said. “The reward of a chef is to cook something good that you’re appreciated for. There’s not a paycheck that can compare to that.” 

Rubio is the author of the 2017 release “Cooking with His Love” and the forthcoming “Victory.” 

“Julio brings with him a wealth of culinary talent that he has picked up over 30 years of experience,” said Michael Ives, Aramark food service director for WT. “Although this is his first experience working in higher education, his background has made him well versed in every aspect of culinary from the simple barbeque to the finest dining experience.” 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Rubio was the food service director and executive chef for Camp of the Woods in the Adirondacks in upstate New York, but when the pandemic halted his career, he and wife Emily decided to try their fortunes in a new state, the university explained.

“I didn’t even know where Amarillo or Canyon were on a map, to be honest with you,” Rubio said before finding a home. “I love the town, I love the students here, and I love the school.” 

Rubio described his relationship with the students, “What I love about them is they’re honest. If they don’t really care for something, they’ll come to you. That’s the feedback I love to hear.” 

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