OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Students at Oshkosh West High School put their culinary skills to the test by launching a pop-up Italian restaurant on Thursday as part of a Senior Transitions class.

The student-led pop-up restaurant titled, Okie Gnocchi, aims to teach students a range of valuable skills in a real workplace setting in hopes of setting students up for success after high school.

For two months, the students have been hard at work, learning and honing a range of employability skills, and creating this restaurant from the ground up.

“I have seen so many skills, it’s been so exciting. I had seen some of them give each other a physical pat on the back and say, “You did such a great job today.” That was hugely moving to me [to see the students] recognize that in each other,” said Oshkosh West High School Special Education Teacher, Mary Gabriel.

The entire process included applying and interviewing for their roles, learning to master Italian cooking, and refining their customer service abilities.

“Okie Gnocchi is more than just a student project it’s a testament to the potential and determination of students as they step into life beyond high school,” said Katie Nieman, Communications Director for the Oshkosh Area School District. “Oshkosh West is incredibly proud of their accomplishments and can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Over the next few days, the students will be serving the Oshkosh West High School staff.