Fine dining

Wylie High School restaurant run by students is open to public

photo credit: Morgan Clark
For the customer \\ Preparing a meal during the lunch rush at the 544 Cafe, junior Gianna Garza finishes cooking and serving a meal to a customer. Culinary students from both Wylie High and Wylie east work at the cafe.

writer: Morgan Clark, Staff Reporter

Some of the most appetizing food is located at the 544 Cafe inside Wylie High School. With students as chefs, they get lots of benefits and make food ranging from salads, to pastas, to sandwiches. 

Junior Eliana Wade was able to try the food and got the 544 Burger. She went along with me on my trip to the cafe and got the full experience. 

“The 544 cafe was an incredible experience,” Wade said. “I’m so grateful that we go to school in a district where students get incredible opportunities like these. The food was delicious and the staff was amazing.” 

The 544 Café is a student-run non-internship program open to the public three days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for breakfast (8–9 a.m.) and lunch (11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.). They prep and get the restaurant ready for service on Mondays, and on Fridays they reflect on the week and clean the café. 

All of the Wylie High and Wylie East students are able to take part and participate in the cafe. Students who attend Wylie East must travel to the cafe during school to work at the cafe. There are many different positions available for these chefs who are in the practicum program. 

This cafe means a lot to me. I’ve always loved cooking, so coming into the kitchen is great being able to work among people who are so kind. ”

— Sarah Andrade, junior

“To be a part of our practicum program, you must complete our principles class first then our culinary class is next,” restaurant manager Kwajalien Gillum said. “Practicum is in the third and fourth year.” 

The program consists of students from the culinary career pathway, so they have been together while learning the basics and moving up to actually working and cooking. 

It’s a lot about growth and team building. We all work together and are learning how to work in the kitchen and cooperate with each other. Everyone is friends and works together,” junior Sarah Andrade said. 

Practicum culinary arts program students practice their skills while obtaining real business experience at the cafe. 

“This experience has taught me to be more talkative and more person-to-person,” junior Caleb Henry said. 

With this responsibility comes a lot of benefits. The student chefs get real job experience and something they can add to their resumes. Also, the chefs at lunch get to eat lunch on Thursday as a treat for their service which saves them money and lets them eat great food. It is a great opportunity for some students to decide if they want to be in the culinary field. 

“This cafe means a lot to me. I’ve always loved cooking, so coming into the kitchen is great being able to work among people who are so kind,” Andrade said. 

The restaurant is only open to the public, but not current students. To place orders, email [email protected] or call ahead at 972-429-3125.