Monday, February 27, 2023

Wildwood High School launches new food truck initiative within culinary arts program

The new "Warrior Wagon has arrived at Wildwood High School as the program continues to lead innovation in secondary Culinary Arts


WILDWOOD - Thanks to a generous donation from The Gallagher Family Memorial Foundation, Wildwood High School’s new food truck, the “Warrior Wagon”, will elevate the school’s thriving culinary arts program.

The culinary arts program grew out of its original truck, a 1973 Ford Grumman with a manual transmission that was transformed into the school’s first food truck in 2019. According to the district, at that time Wildwood was the only school in the nation operating a food truck program as a culinary opportunity for its students to gain real world experience.

The new and larger “Warrior Wagon” will allow more students to staff and cook on the truck at one time. students also will accompany program coordinator, Chef Stephen Serano to festivals throughout the state for real-life experience operating a mobile restaurant.

Chef Serano helped to design the bid specifications to ensure that the equipment on board would align with the needs of the curriculum. “Our students are already learning the skills they need to be competitive in the hospitality industry, whether they choose to work during college or pursue a career in the restaurant industry,” said Serano. “The food truck is an opportunity to amplify their postsecondary experience and success."

Wildwood High School Principal Philip Schaffer, who was often sighted working on the original Warrior Wagon at football games, shared his excitement for the new addition. “I really feel that this exemplifies how we operate in Wildwood. Everyone is constantly looking for unique and engaging ways to educate our students, and the possibilities are endless with the new Warrior Wagon.”

Third year culinary student and senior Joseph Mormile shared, “I’ve worked on the truck for events the last couple of years and it was a lot of fun. We definitely needed an upgrade, so I think this shows what our school is doing,” said Mormile, who also gave a shout out to Chef Serano. “Chef is the best, and has helped us to get our ServSafe certifications, in addition to all of the experiences that will set us up for our future!”

The new Warrior Wagon will also benefit Wildwood High School’s sending districts. Wildwood High School senior Reagan Kobierowski enthused, “How many other high schools have a food truck? I can’t wait till we bring it to Crest Memorial and show the students how awesome our school is! I graduated eighth grade there and I remember kids that graduated before me visiting and teaching a cooking lesson to us. I just remember thinking how cool it was, and I’m excited to be a part of the program and share the opportunities that warriors have.”

According to Chef Serano the new “Warrior Wagon’s” first trips will be to Wildwood elementary school then visit the high school’s two sending districts. In the past, alumni from those schools who attend Wildwood High School worked on the truck as they served the eighth graders.

“We also look forward to participating in community and business events on the island,” said Serano. “And of course we’ll be the proud main vendor at local Wildwood Warrior football games!”

All inquiries may be directed to High School Principal, Philip Schaffer -

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