Rising Star Pastry Chef Morgan Wilson of Ritz-Carlton Dallas - Biography

Dallas, TX

November 2011

At only 11, Morgan Wilson was already catering full dinners for his parents at $20 a pop. But it wasn't until 1995 that Wilson got a taste of real kitchen work in a small Italian bistro in Ashland, Oregon. Immediately, he knew he wanted to be a chef. Wilson began researching culinary schools and decided to attend The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, where he studied everything from classic garde manger and charcuterie to cakes and plated desserts. Pastry Chef Instructor Nicholas Snell showed Wilson the magic and the endless possibilities of the pastry kitchen, and after his externship and graduation, Wilson sought out his first professional pastry position.

Wilson found an assistant pastry chef job at The Essex Supper Club, where he stayed for a year before teaming up with Chef Arnold E. Wong at EOS Restaurant and Wine Bar in San Francisco. After prepping and plating his creations for a year, Wilson’s heart was set on pastry and he flew to Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, to study bread, chocolate, sugar, and plated desserts. On his return to San Francisco, Wilson took a position at Bradley Ogden and George Marrone’s One Market.

In the summer of 1999, Wilson was asked to open a new restaurant in Sao Paulo, Brazil, by an old acquaintance from France. At Cannelle in Brazil Wilson met Francois Payard, who was investigating a location for Payard Patisserie and Bistro. Thrilled at the chance to learn from the pastry star chef, Wilson handed over his resume and was hired almost immediately to run the patisserie kitchen at night and produce the desserts for the bistro. After a year, Wilson was asked to open a massive project in the old revamped location of Cannelle and began creating a new menu of Italian breads and desserts for Supra.

After 3½ years in Brazil, Wilson decided to come home and began sending his resumes out across the country. He was offered the pastry chef position at Aubergine in Newport Beach, California where he was first introduced to the tasting menu format with Scott Gottlich, the inspiring and exciting Chef de Cuisine.

When Wilson and his wife were expecting a baby, he sought out a less hectic schedule and began teaching to spend more time with his family. For three years he taught pastry at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena before getting back in the game by opening Bijoux with Gottlich. There, Wilson earned a 2007 StarChefs.com Dallas Rising Star Pastry Chef Award. The same year, he joined the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, as executive pastry chef, where he continues to work. Wilson also appeared on season one of "Top Chef: Just Desserts."