PESH Senior to Attend Prestigious Culinary School
Plano East Senior High student, Sydney Morgan, has fond memories of being in the kitchen as a little girl. Whether making breakfast in bed for her mom on Mother’s Day or simply baking a cake in her Easy-Bake Oven, she knew cooking was going to be a bright part of her future. As a rising senior, Sydney is a class act who is busily preparing for life after high school. She enthusiastically said, “I’d like to learn cake decorating because I love art and especially love making art that you can eat. There’s something so satisfying about cake decorating because you can make it so realistic. It’s something to eat and enjoy visually, too!”
When deciding which culinary school to attend, Sydney narrowed her choices down to Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin, as well as El Centro Community College in Dallas. “Representatives from different schools came into my culinary class at PESH. I really like El Centro’s culinary program with Chef DeShazo, but decided Escoffier would be a better fit for baking and pastry,” Sydney explained. “El Centro is a community college, so they have a little wing with one specific kitchen for baking and pastry, then one other kitchen for culinary students, so it was a lot smaller. At Escoffier, they have a massive building with two separate wings for each program. I like the bigger school that’s more centered on the culinary program.”
Plano ISD’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) offers culinary classes to help prepare students for a future in areas such as hospitality and tourism, culinary arts and culinary sciences. Future chefs begin their journey with an Introduction to Culinary Arts course that teaches students the ins and outs of culinary operations. A Culinary Arts course is taken next where students perfect basic cooking skills and prepare a variety of dishes for PESH’s Eastside Bistro. Juniors and seniors involved in the program also compete in culinary competitions sponsored by area youth organizations.
Sydney explained, “Two competitions students are allowed to compete in are Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and SkillsUSA. FCCLA is a club I participate in, but it’s also a competition organization. They do culinary competitions as well as other career guided competitions. SkillsUSA centers around competing in future career and technical skills.”
She went on to say, “At FCCLA, I competed in Cupcake Battle where I created a cupcake with a display and did a cost analysis. Another group at FCCLA did a contest similar to Top Chef, with a mystery basket, where they get items and have to make something with it. For SkillsUSA, I did a job demonstration on how to create a chocolate filigree, which is a chocolate design that you can use to top different cakes and desserts.”
Sydney’s mom and dad, Craig and Michele Morgan, are in awe of their daughter daily. Michele proudly stated, “I absolutely love Sydney’s determination to be creative with her path to higher education by pursuing her passion for the culinary arts. She’s already a rock star when it comes to baking! Of course, her dad and I are thrilled to support her decision to attend Auguste Escoffier and receive world-class culinary training.”
After graduating from Escoffier with an Associate of Applied Science in Pastry Arts degree, Sydney will continue her education as a student at Texas State University where she will pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration degree focusing on entrepreneurial studies. With continued hard work and dedication, Sydney’s dream of decorating cakes as a successful bakery owner will soon become reality.