At the age of 43, several events transpired that led Misty White to the decision to abandon her former life in Texas and head towards one that has always brought her happiness—culinary arts at home in Louisiana.
“For 20 years, I worked in oil and gas and in real estate,” White said. “While being a Landman was interesting, negotiating leases for running a pipeline across someone’s property just never resulted in me being the hero. Real estate was thrilling. I got to hunt for the perfect properties and meet so many different people, but it was really my ex-husbands passion and working on commission was unnerving.”
However, it was what transpired next that was the final push. Her 84-year-old grandmother who raised her had a stroke and was home in Louisiana. She and her 25-year-old son wanted to be there too. And so, she moved home to Independence, enrolled at the Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge and just started a new job at LRA Member Red Stick Spice Company.
“My grandmother is paralyzed on one side of her body,” she explained. “But she gets around…washes clothes and tends to her garden, even last night she made me white beans.”
She’s finally doing something for herself. She’s living her dream of going to culinary school and becoming a chef. Her children are grown and she’s close to her grandmother. Right now, she’s catering and plans to take her the skills and techniques she gains at LCI and scale it for large events and festivals.
White is one of 24 Scholars to receive financial support from the LRA Education Foundation at the 3rd Annual Serving the Future, Celebrating Careers in Hospitality event March 21 in New Orleans.
“Receiving the LRAEF Scholarship is a tremendous help to me. I’m extremely grateful,” she said.
The restaurant industry is the largest employer in Louisiana and will only continue to grow as more people rely on restaurants for their meals. With two decades of transferable work experience paired with her culinary arts education at Louisiana Culinary Institute, we are positive that great things are in store for White and our industry with her in it.