Chef Tim Ellcey

Tim Ellcey didn’t plan to be a chef and caterer.

“I was an education major for a while,” the El Centro graduate says. “I was going to be an elementary teacher. After a while, I didn’t feel like that was what I was led to do.”
Now, instead of overseeing a classroom, the graduate of El Centro’s Food and Hospitality Institute is watching over barbecue and other tasty food as chef-owner of Tim Ellcey Catering.

Ellcey chose El Centro’s culinary program over those of other institutions for several reasons, including:

  • Low tuition
  • Industry reputation
  • Alumni network

“It was just more hands on,” Ellcey says. “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.”

​Internship Opportunities Helped

“Graduating I felt very confident because you have to have so many internship practicum time
while you’re there,” Ellcey says. “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?”

Video transcript available on YouTube.