Elizabeth Mikesell – Certified Executive Chef, Educator
Elizabeth Mikesell has been a Chef Instructor at Pima Community College (PCC) for 16 years. She previously was Executive Chef at the Country Club of Green Valley, the Garde Manger Chef and assistant Pastry Chef at Janos restaurant, Chef at Illusions restaurant, El Jebala restaurant and her own restaurant, the J. Perspico Factor in Lenox, Massachusetts.
In 2004, she received PCC’s Desert Vista campus Vocational Instructor of the Year award and in 1993, a star educator’s partner award. Chef Elizabeth chaired the national board of the American Culinary Federation Chef and Child Foundation, whose mission is to educate children and families in understanding proper nutrition through community-based initiatives.
When she was First Lady, Michelle Obama invited her to the White House for the kickoff of the “Chefs Move to Schools” initiative since she works with youth learning to cook and eat healthy food. She teaches gardening and cooking at Sam Hughes elementary school and for six years organized a summer cooking camp for low-income children at the House of Neighborly Service.
Chef Mikesell is a past president and chairman of the board for the Chefs Association of Southern Arizona where she earned Chef of the Year three times and is in the association hall of fame She’s served on the leadership council for the Pima County Food Alliance whose purpose is to advocate for wholesome food access and working with the Tucson mayor and council, to help steer sound public policy working.
A graduate of the University of Arizona, she is a Certified Executive Chef from the American Culinary Federation and in 1998 was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs, the honor society for the American Culinary Federation.