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Tim Ellcey


Chef and Owner
Tim Ellcey Catering​


Hi, my name is Tim Ellcey.

I was an education major for a while.

I was going to be an elementary teacher.

After awhile I didn't feel like that was what I was led to do.

I do still love teaching and being a chef, I think a great chef is also a great teacher.

And so I'm able to use what I did learn from there and carry it over to the culinary arts.

Researching it, I found out that El Centro was really the best place for me.

It wasn't going to put me in a whole lot of debt, because I didn't have a whole lot saved up.

As well as talking to people in the restaurant business there are more of El Centro graduates and alumni out in the industry than, those I met that were from other culinary schools in the area.

I just enjoyed El Centro and their culinary school so much more.

It was just more hands on. I just loved being around that, that kitchen and that classroom and that learning environment, where there's instructors that have been in the field for so long and they're just ready to fill you with so much information that it's going to make you successful.

The American Regional Cuisine, International Cuisine, which is where they have the Thursday lunches, those classes,

I really excelled in those classes, because we got to make the food for real people, for 120 people.

We found out how to, cost the menu, cost the food.

All that combined into make an awesome experience for, for real guests.

You are required to do several internships and practicums.

And there I was working at Restaurant Ava in Rockwall.

And those combined, having to get the real world experience with what you learned in the classroom, it just helped me so much, to be able to take it to work, and back to the school, and be able to use things hand in hand.

Graduating I felt very confident because you have to have so many internship practicum time
while you're there.

I felt that I was very prepared to go out and find pretty much any job that was available at the time.

The connections that I've met through there, the friends that I've met, I still am connected with them
as well.

As they find jobs, as they grow, I've had several, several classmates that have come to me and said, hey, you know,
I'm now working at this as a sous-chef or executive chef. Are you still looking for work?

You need anything?

You know, we're still trying, we're still a group that, that worked together in a classroom.

Now we're in the real world.

We're finding each other and seeing how we can work together to both be, to all be successful and that
was really cool.