Hardy’s is Here

Hardys Cafe, run by the culinary program and head chefs Brett Claypoole and Matthew Denman, is officially open to the school. The cafe opened in October and is open on A-days in the morning, before school, and lunchtime, 12:30-2:30. Located by the culinary classrooms and kitchens, this establishment provides food for not just students and staff, but they offer catering services, and many other things.
Hardy’s Cafe, run by the culinary program and head chefs Brett Claypoole and Matthew Denman, is officially open to the school. The cafe opened in October and is open on A-days in the morning, before school, and lunchtime, 12:30-2:30. Located by the culinary classrooms and kitchens, this establishment provides food for not just students and staff, but they offer catering services, and many other things.
Caitlyn Ketzle

Get ready to experience yet another great program that this school has to offer. After a few months of being open, the culinary team was able to open up their very own cafe, despite what challenges were thrown their way. Now Hardy’s Cafe is officially open and ready for business. The cafe will be open to not just staff, but the whole school every morning on A-days. Teachers and staff will be able to go to both breakfast and lunch. 

“We will be serving breakfast tacos, coffees,pastries, and more. However, we’re not open to students for lunch,” said head chef, Matthew Denman. 

The kitchen will be providing a full menu that will change every few weeks. “Right now Hardy’s is on a rotating menu, which means every two weeks we carry three new dishes.That way, it gives everybody a chance to come in and try everything,” said Denman. “We have a rotating menu because it allows us to teach and develop these kids and let them learn new things. If they’re just making the same six things all the time. How much depth of knowledge are they gaining, right?” 

Hardy’s is just as much of a class as it is a Cafe. Students can learn how to work in the industry and get real criticism. “ I think the coolest thing about having a student-run Cafe is that it gives the student real time and real world feedback. It’s really easy to sit in an architecture class. And you hear things like I’m the best in my class and so on. But, that doesn’t necessarily translate to how good you’re going to be in the real world,” says another head chef, Brett Claypoole. “With food there’s no line about whether something is good or not. It either is or it isn’t. And that feedback from our guests is invaluable to our students and can allow them another chance to grow and develop and understand the value of the work we’re putting in in the classroom.”

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Students will be able to create complex menus and dishes fit for the teachers and staff. The kitchen is creating more than just your average meal. “This week [11/13-11/17], we are featuring a more Latin American menu. So we have a ground beef taco salad. We also have chicken tortilla soup with chicken and corn casa, kind of like a combo plate,” said Denman. “And then we have a braised beef brisket with bean and cheese pupusas, which is a South American stuffed masa cake filled with  beans and cheese. We then griddle and kind of pan fry those. So they’re crispy on the outside, but then filled with the good stuff on the inside. And that is served with a cilantro lime creme,” Denman continues. “And so what you’re finding is at lunchtime, we’re trying to do a very elevated menu. We’re not shooting for hamburgers and hot dogs.” 

  As the cafe is becoming increasingly more stable and established, the chefs want to start introducing new ways to include the community. “Starting in January, one night a month, we’re going to have a formal dinner here on Saturday night where parents can come in and sit down. We’ll run multiple course dinners and really get quite fancy. Very avant garde and we’ll get to

make really cool stuff that wouldn’t normally be done on a daily basis,” said Claypoole. You’ll get a really cool experience, I think, for the students in the back, and for the families coming in and dining. You get a five star meal prepared here, but you do not have to break the bank to come,”

Once every month, on these nights, the community will have the ability to come in for a full course meal.“Students and staff can now just walk in. However, for the public, I will send out an announcement every week on our Instagram and share it to the parents of Prosper on the Prosper Facebook page. There will be a signup genius where you can go in and sign up for a slot, and that lets us know you’re coming,” said Denman. This way our program can benefit, but it also allows the front desk to know who’s supposed to be coming on that day. Obviously we’re very aware of school safety and it’s just another layer of protection built into it.” 

Another cool thing they are hoping to implement would be able to benefit the staff. “We possibly want to start a home cooked meal program for teachers to grab on the way home on Thursdays. So, it is basically a grab and go meal that is supposed to make life easier for teachers and staff. We’ll have it all ready and they’ve already paid for it. So, all they have to do is come in and grab it,” said Claypoole.

This program has so many things they want to achieve and they will be needing a lot of food and produce for all of their goals.  The culinary team wants to collaborate with other programs to help the kitchens. 

“I think right now the big partnership that I’m working on developing is working with our own agriculture department here within Prosper Independent School District to utilize the products that they grow. That way we’re showcasing two different great programs that PISD has,” said Denman. “This would give the chef and I more control on the quality of the produce and items we use. We will be able to even mess around with the flavors of the product. For example I would really like to have our pigs be fed honey on a routine basis. Because feeding them that honey makes the meat sweeter.”

This program is just beginning. “Tell your friends, we’re ready,” said Denman 

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Kenna Thornton, Business Manager
Kenna Thornton is a sophomore at Walnut Grove High school. This is Kenna's first year on Wildcats Wired. She is on the Walnut Grove tennis team and enjoys spending time with her teammates at practice. She loves to cook, read, be outside, and hang out with friends.
Caitlyn Ketzle, Editor-in-Chief
Caitlyn Ketzle is a junior at Walnut Grove High School. She currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Wildcats Wired, and served one year as a photojournalist on Eagle Nation Online at Prosper High School. Caitlyn is also the DASH chair person on the Executive Student Council. In her free time, she enjoys photographing school events and hanging out with friends.
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