Beloved chef Papa Louie aims to run new WCHS class


Photo by Kaylena Yee

Papa Louie reunites with former employee, WCHS senior Alberto Scoop, afer his Cooking-media course presentation at WCHS on March 28.

By Kalena Yee, Arts Editor

Freezeria. Cupcakeria. Taco Mia. These all too familiar words bring up childhood memories for WCHS students. These memories will be brought to life as Papa Louie has come to teach his first introductory cooking class exclusively at WCHS for the 2023-2024 school year. 

Before his teaching career, Louie opened his first restaurant, Papa’s Pizzeria, in Tastyville in 2007. The success from Papa’s Pizzeria launched Louie’s career as an accomplished chef and restaurant owner. From there, the Papa Louie franchise expanded rapidly and now includes restaurants like Papa’s Pancakeria, Papa’s Wingeria and Papa’s Donuteria. 

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to downscale the Papa Louie franchise due to technical difficulties with our management Adobe Flash,” Louie said. “I won’t reveal too much information, but I decided to take a step back from the restaurant business and try teaching instead.”

Papa Louie’s Cooking-Mia will be the first ever cooking class at WCHS, and has already become increasingly popular among students. It will be offered as an honors elective for students of all grade levels who have an interest in cooking. From gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to freshly prepared sushi, students will learn to cook a variety of dishes under the careful guidance of Louie. 

What makes the course unique is the hands-on experience it offers not only for cooking but also restaurant management. Students will run a mock restaurant where they will be able to cook dishes and serve customers. They will also learn to market and advertise the business to attract customers.

“I believe in experiential learning,” Louie said. “How will students know that they successfully mastered the techniques without real world application? My teaching method is to put my students to the test right away. This way I can differentiate an individual’s trainability and skill level.”

As for assignments, students will be graded on their ability to satisfy customers. Each customer will evaluate based on service and quality of food using a 100 point-based system. Tips earned will go toward extra credit. At the end of each class, students will receive an average percentage based on their overall performance that will determine their grade for the assignment that day.

“Satisfying your customers can be tough. You might think you made a great burger, but then someone like JoJo the food critic walks in and shoots you down,” former employee of Louie and WCHS senior Alberto Scoop said. “This might sound super intimidating but don’t be discouraged. With the right attitude and mindset you probably won’t have any trouble in the class at all.”

Scoop previously worked for Louie at Papa’s Freezeria and has been developing the skills he learned ever since. Although Scoop will not get a chance to take the course next year, he highly encourages WCHS students to enroll and explore their passion for cooking in a unique way. 

“When I worked for him I learned so many useful skills like how to work well under pressure, deal with customers and make delicious milkshakes all at the same time,” Scoop said. “Mr. Louie’s teaching definitely puts you to the test, but students who take this course will learn so much and have tons of fun in the process!”