EHS Students Learning By Doing With King Street Kitchen
There’s an old adage that says “too many cooks spoil the soup.”
But what happens when you have a class of high school students doing the cooking, serving and operations of a restaurant – and earning credit for it?
You get the King Street Kitchen, that’s what.
Starting tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 10, the Food Service Fundamentals Class at Emmetsburg High School will open the doors to their second semester project, a noon-hour dining opportunity, located in the High School on King Street (hence the name of their venture). The student-run eatery will operate on an every-other-week basis through the second semester of this school year.
“The King Street Cafe is an outgrowth of the project the class conducted during the first semester,” explained Mrs. April Moffitt, Family and Consumer Sciences instructor at EHS. “The students operated the “Morning Buzz” in the first semester, where they took orders for coffee and hot chocolate, and distributed them on Friday mornings. That program was very popular with the staff and students, and it fit into the curriculum of the course perfectly.”
With a new semester, and a new group of primarily juniors and seniors, Moffitt looked to broaden the challenge for the students in the class, which is a dual-credit class offered in conjunction with Iowa Lakes Community College. Working with national Family and Consumer Science standards and 21st Century Skills programs, Moffitt looked at similar student-operated Caf programs operated in the area, most notably the Wolverine Diner at West Bend-Mallard/Gilmore City-Bradgate High School, and similar ventures at Estherville Lincoln Central and North Union High Schools.
“My Family and Consumer Science Advisory Group talked about this and decided this was something they wanted to see us do, because it addresses two major educational initiatives,” Moffitt explained. “First, with the students doing the cooking, serving, menu planning and all operations, this becomes a project-based learning opportunity for them. Secondly, it also becomes part of Career Technical Education, as the students are learning a skill they can use in a service industry.”
With the blessing of the administration and a Perkins Grant, new equipment for the Family and Consumer Science room was obtained to enable the food preparation. Students began planning how to operate a restaurant, studying menus, food preparation, budgeting, clean up and most importantly, customer service.
Getting the basic plan of operations figured out, the class set the first day of operations for this Friday, Feb. 10.
“We are going to serve from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., and we will be serving the meal in the area known as the Senior Lounge, or the lobby area of the Auditorium,” Moffitt explained. “Jillian Joyce will be our Hostess on Opening Day and we will be serving to all staff and members of the community. We welcome the public to come dine with us, but ask that they call the High School Office, at 712-852-2966, before 3 p.m. on Thursdays for a reservation, so that we can prepare enough food. “
Speaking of food, the opening day menu will be one sure to please anyone’s palate.
“Our menu this Friday will be mandarin salad, ham balls, cheesy potatoes, green beans and strawberry cake,” Moffitt noted. “The cost of a meal is $8.”
According to Moffitt, the King Street Kitchen will truly be a ‘team effort’ as the faculty at EHS is allowing students in the class time away from other classes on serving days so that the students can prep, clean and serve the meals.
“With many of the other schools offering student restaurants, cross curricular collaboration is taking place. Marketing classes, industrial tech, band and vocal have found an area where they can contribute to such projects, and that is certainly possible here, too.”
The Emmetsburg students involved in the Food Fundamentals Class are Darion Helle, Shelby Weisbrod, Jillian Joyce, Caitlyn Manwarren, Madison Dahm, Michael Frerichs, Takoda Harris, Max Dunlap, Thomas Schultes, Blake VerMulm, Mason Carrigan, Hunter McAllister and Jade Schleisman.