Misty Rothrock knew she was meant to be at Arizona Culinary Institute the minute she walked through the door. “I absolutely love it here. I feel like I can be myself and I can really come into my element,” says Misty. Her love for cooking and making people happy was her reason for deciding to come to culinary school. It was a challenge to adapt to a full-time student after being a stay-at-home mother for 16 years, but Misty’s family has been very supportive of her dream. “It was difficult to not be available for my kids full-time because I was always there, but they are constantly encouraging me. They once told me that we couldn’t go anywhere until my homework was done!”

The mother of 4 boys, aged 15, 13, 9, and 6 respectively, previously owned a coffee shop and music venue with her husband in Washington. When asked about how her family likes living in Arizona, “We are so happy here! I hope we can stay and build some roots.” Misty says she was a home cook prior to ACI, but she has “so much more to learn as far as the culinary world. I’m just trying to absorb it all and learn as much as I can.”

During her time at ACI, Misty has enjoyed learning the science behind baking, experiencing the freedom to create in meat fabrication, and learning how to make beautiful cakes in advanced baking. “I’ve realized that I don’t need to follow a recipe exactly now. I love to make sauces, and when I started to learn how to make these sauces that I’ve always made as a home cook, it was a complete surprise to me. I had been making sauces forever, but they never tasted as good as when I learned how to add depth and flavor.”

Misty enjoys cooking for events and entertaining people. When asked about her future in culinary, Misty’s ultimate goal would be to create a destination event center with her husband to cater special events. In the meantime, she hopes to work in the industry after school to gain experience.