The Hatters' Herald

The Hatters’ Cafe prepares to open for teachers and students

DHS restaurant makes adjustments due to the new block schedule

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The Hatters’ Cafe prepares to open for teachers and students

Brian Turner, culinary arts teacher, instructs culinary arts students during class time in the Hatters' Cafe on Friday, February 1st. The culinary arts program is preparing for their opening on February 21st to teachers and their classes.

Brian Turner, culinary arts teacher, instructs culinary arts students during class time in the Hatters' Cafe on Friday, February 1st. The culinary arts program is preparing for their opening on February 21st to teachers and their classes.

Kiara Kaltschnee

Brian Turner, culinary arts teacher, instructs culinary arts students during class time in the Hatters' Cafe on Friday, February 1st. The culinary arts program is preparing for their opening on February 21st to teachers and their classes.

Kiara Kaltschnee

Kiara Kaltschnee

Brian Turner, culinary arts teacher, instructs culinary arts students during class time in the Hatters' Cafe on Friday, February 1st. The culinary arts program is preparing for their opening on February 21st to teachers and their classes.

Kiara Kaltschnee, Staff Writer

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The Hatters’ Cafe staff is preparing to open up to teachers and students in the upcoming weeks. Soon, both students and teachers can purchase the famous DHS home fries, breakfast bowl, chicken panini, and the new popular menu item: crepes.

Brian Turner, culinary arts teacher, said that reservation services will be sent to teachers in the upcoming weeks. “On [Feb.] 21, lunch will be open to classes,” Turner announced.

Turner teaches Culinary Arts 1 and 2; the first level comprised of assignments revolving around breakfast and the second level with more hands on work with lunch items. Being the more experienced of the students, Culinary Arts 2 has been warming up for the launch by serving teachers during lunch on Thursdays and Fridays during their third block class.

When they aren’t serving teachers, students in Culinary Arts 2 prepare for their opening to full classes by role playing in a game they call “Restaurant for a Day.”

They are divided up into three groups: guests, cooks, and waiters. Throughout the period, they rotate and acquire all the skills they need to know to run a restaurant, from working at the cash register to cooking meals within the seven minutes of prep time allotted.

In regards to the class, senior and Culinary Arts 2 student Bruno Guzman said, “It’s more hands on so I understand what it takes to manage a restaurant.”

After a semester of prep work, the students are approaching the final days before opening. “I’m very excited we’re opening it again,” said Ann Palomino, a senior in Culinary Arts 2.

David Pena, another senior in the program, said the class itself hasn’t been run much differently than previous years since “culinary has always been double periods.” However on the business side, Turner said the restaurant will be run differently due to their transition from last year’s eight-period schedule to the block schedule of this year.

This year, two classes will be able to have breakfast in the cafe during block one and block two — one class being served in the first 40 minutes of the block and the other being served in the second 40 minutes. As for block three, the cafe will be open to classes during lunch waves one, two, and three, with the fourth wave used to clean up the cafe.

Palomino explained how the schedule change affected the program. “We used to have 7 periods to serve, and the last period to clean up. Now with the lunch waves, it messes up the program.”

On the bright side, they adapted to the schedule change. Since the cafe is open the first three waves and cleaning up has to take place during fourth, Palomino said, “We miss our lunch wave and we eat [in the cafe] so we can cover for people.” That way, the restaurant can be run throughout the first three lunch waves.

Along with the previous issue presented, Turner encountered a problem during their trial period for lunch with teachers: the lunch periods are too short for them to take a trip to the cafe. Turner said, “Teachers have been complaining about the short lunches, and they’ve been coming in saying that they only have five  minutes to get their order.”

To solve this problem, Turner and his students devised a new lunch plan called the “grab-and-go” for teachers. “It’ll be like the hot bar at Stew’s,” Turner said. “We’ve refused to do things of the like in the past but it works out because the lunch periods are so short.”

When the cafe opens, teachers will be able to place an order to pick up at the cafe. An alternative would be a delivery, which has been done in previous years. With a call to the cafe at #216, teachers will be able to have their orders made in advance for a “grab-and-go” or delivery.

“The menu is updated weekly and a link is posted in the Staff Bulletin,” said Turner. For those interested, here are samples for the breakfast menu and lunch menu.

Overall, Turner has a positive mindset for this upcoming semester. He said that he expects the schedule change to affect profits in a positive way.

“I think we’re going to do more business,” he said. “We’ll hopefully see more classes that don’t usually come in because of the new block schedule.”

According to Turner, the profits made from the Hatters’ Cafe are rolled back over into the program to pay bills for the materials and food that students at the beginning of the year practice with.

Turner has constructed a program that fosters passion and teaches students skills for the real world. It provides students an opportunity to pursue their passions.

“Mr. Turner does an amazing job preparing his students and shows with the quality of the food and the rave reviews they get. The Danbury High School community is extremely lucky to have such a great program and restaurant here on campus,” said Justin Morgan, a Career Technical Education teacher and a frequent customer of the Hatters’ Cafe.

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About the Writer
Kiara Kaltschnee, Staff Writer

Ever since I was little, I couldn’t put a book down. My passion for reading has grown heavily over the years, while my interest in writing has paralleled...

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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800
The Hatters’ Cafe prepares to open for teachers and students