Wildcat Café serves students five-star meals every month


A plate of food waits to be served at the Wildcat Café on Jan. 30. Photo by HARMONY REILLY

Every month, there’s a place to get a five-star meal for merely five dollars. It’s called Wildcat Café, located in room F-9. Culinary 2 students prepare the meals and serve them to their fellow classmates for a grade. Mrs. Carissa McCrory, the Culinary teacher and Culinary Club advisor, considers Culinary to be one of her passions and enjoys teaching her students through the immersive experience of Wildcat Café.

“I want to teach career skills, so the food that we cook in here is high end. I’m teaching [my students] skills that they can take on to go to culinary school so that they can prepare for that if they want it,” McCrory said.

Students from all across campus come to the culinary room after intervention on one Friday of every month, and Wildcat Café is a place where they can talk and enjoy a delicious meal.

“This is my second time coming to Wildcat Café, and I enjoy it very much. Today’s meal is pesto pasta and an Italian salad and fresh-baked bread. The pesto for sure is my favorite,” Megan Sanders said.

For a few weeks leading up to the Café, the culinary students are busy with preparations to make sure everything runs smoothly.

“We pick and choose from different menus what we want [to serve]. We’ll normally prep for a few weeks, and because we have it on a Friday, and two class periods before, we start preparing [the food] for it,” Georgia Minion, a culinary student said.

The Wildcat Café on Jan. 30 went smoothly, according to Minion. But the Wildcat Café staff isn’t always so lucky to have everything work out perfectly.

“For one of the Cafés, one of the desserts we made, someone mixed up the salt and the sugar. It was some kind of pie, and we have to scrape out the entire pie filling and make it all again 20 minutes before we had to serve it. No one noticed, because we fixed it before anyone ate it, though,” Minion said.

Even those not seriously chasing a career in Culinary can have fun working in the Wildcat Café.

“There’s always people who aren’t interested in this for a career and are just in here because they want to eat. Even with those kids, once in a while, I’ll see that sparkle in their eye. I know even if they’re not completely committed, they’ll do stuff once in a while. It’s worth it,” McCrory said.

If you’re interested in eating food prepared by culinary students, all you need to do is buy a ticket for $5 in advance (they usually sell tickets for a week or two leading up to the Café), and then show up to room F-9 on the day of.

“This is my first time coming here, and I think I’ll be back. The [Italian] salad is my favorite thing so far,” said Madison Dodge.

McCrory’s idea with Wildcat Café is not to just give her students an assignment for a grade, it’s evident in the way she talks that she’s very passionate about food and culinary.

“If you’re going to be in this industry, if you’re going be in culinary, my goal for you is that you’re going to work at a high-end restaurant, and you’re gonna make good money. If you work a burger place, you’re going to be making minimum wage, and that’s not worth it, that’s not a job. That’s a high school job that’s work-your-way-through-college job, but that’s not a career. I want to be able to teach career skills,” McCrory said.

The Wildcat Café welcomes all students, and allows them a chance to relax for a while before heading off to their last period.

McCrory said, “Five bucks is cheap; if you go to a nice restaurant, your dessert alone will cost you five dollars. Just the dessert, and you’re getting a full three course here.”