A forum for open student discussion.

A forum for open student discussion.


A forum for open student discussion.


Culinary class blends food, community into HHS

Sean Sullivan

“I am continually impressed by the level of service and the quality of food our Highlander Restaurant provides. One of the best parts about being a teacher at HHS is that we have a real live restaurant on our campus,” Choir teacher and director Mr. Brendan Closz says.

The Highlander Restaurant has many booths and tables for customers to sit and eat, and with the new 2023-2024 school year, the restaurant has reopened and students can be seen around the school with smoothies in their hands. Many students dine at the Highlander Restaurant, but some teachers have been spotted having their lunch in the restaurant as well. 

The smoothies are popular among students, but there are plenty of other menu items being recommended by students and faculty. The Highlander Restaurant also sells desserts, beverages, and entrees. The “Coach O Burger” seems to be quite popular, which makes sense of course, considering this burger is named after Coach Olszewski.

“What seems the most popular is the Mr. O burger and the quesadilla,” Highlander Restaurant Senior Breana Kubitski says. 

Closz further shares the understanding of why the Coach O burger is a popular selection. As a regular who eats lunch at the restaurant at least twice a week, Closz raves about his favorite menu items. 

“Try the Coach O Burger. The gnocchi is amazing, the alfredo is top notch as well. Listen, everything on that menu is amazing. Go and eat at the Highlander Restaurant, you won’t regret it,” Closz says.

Culinary students have opportunities to experience all aspects of the restaurant business, like preparing food and handling customer service, and taking orders.

“This experience for me is pretty beneficial because you can learn and do a lot even just as a first year, but once you’re a second year you learn how to work in a fast-paced environment and know how to work in a restaurant,” Kubitski says.

More and more students take this class and their experience impacts them remarkably. Whether they realize this is something they love, a skill convenient to have attained, or they’re not a fan, this class leaves its mark on our Highlanders.

“They get hands-on experience, real hands-on experience in a working restaurant, real job experience, real responsibilities. It sets them up for a potential career in culinary, but it also helps with other careers as well,” Mr. Erik “Chef” Walker says.

Chef Walker has seen his teaching in the kitchen help many students realize what they want, or maybe even realize that culinary may not be their true passion. The Highlander Restaurant has become a big determinant for many students who are unsure about their future. 

“Some students are completely influenced, they want to do this for a living. They might want to take it just as a credit, it changes their career path, some of them they want to do it for a living. Others decide that they don’t want anything to do with it, which is fine with me. I’d rather have them find out in this class than spend the time and money on it in college,” Chef Walker says.

In many ways, the restaurant reflects Howell’s community. This is evident from the outstanding service, comfortable seating, and even through the menu items. The Highlander Restaurant brings people together to appreciate the space with all our favorite food cravings.

“Well, I mean, a lot of the menu items are come up with by students, first of all. So, I mean they’re members of the community. So, they definitely represent the community,” Chef Walker says.

The restaurant can be seen as symbol for Howell’s community and core values such as “SPARK.” 

Food, service, and prices are great, while the menu and design is creative and has a unique way of incorporating aspects of school spirit here at Howell High School. 

Stop in at the Highlander Restaurant for some delicious food and a reminder of our lovely community. 

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