News From the Kitchen

Guest Chef Night with Will Avelar of Meril

February 28, 2018 | Behind the Scenes, Events

Chef Will Avelar

We kicked off our 2018 Guest Chef Night Series with Chef Will Avelar of Meril. Chef Will created an extraordinary family style meal that included Fried Rock Shrimp Salad, Korean Short Ribs with cucumber kimchee, Candied Pork Ribs, Miso Glazed Carrots, Lemongrass Steamed Jasmine Rice, and Bananas Foster Doberge cake. Attendees also enjoyed passed appetizers of Caviar Deviled Eggs and Gulf Oyster Shooters.


Current program trainees and graduates joined Chef Will in the kitchen and as front-of-house staff to make the evening a great success. Chef Will also included Javette Hitchens, a graduate of Liberty’s Kitchen and a current line cook at Meril to assist with the evening.

“I’m honored to have been asked to participate as a guest chef for Liberty’s Kitchen’s dinner series and show my support for this incredible program,” said Chef Will. “Mentorship is invaluable for young people in the hospitality industry, and myself, as well as the Foundation and Emeril’s restaurants, are proud to be a part of helping shape the next generation of this workforce in our community,” stated Chef Will.

Attendees also participated in a live auction. Items included an Ariodante Contemporary Art & Craft Gallery Experience that included art and jewelry pieces, a wine tasting courtesy of Bizou Wines, and a meat and cheese tray from Liberty’s Kitchen. Chef Will also auctioned a private cooking demonstration for 12 people to be held at Liberty’s Kitchen with the winner selecting the menu.

Bernadette Lucas as new Chief Financial Officer

February 19, 2018 | Staff Spotlight, Uncategorized


Liberty’s Kitchen has named Bernadette Lucas as its new Chief Financial Officer. Lucas is a native of New Orleans and continues to cultivate her homegrown talent and skill with her new position at Liberty’s Kitchen. Lucas received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Dillard University, and a M.B.A. from the University of New Orleans. She has been working in accounting and business professionally since 1994.

“Above and beyond her formidable financial chops and years of experience, Bernadette aligns perfectly with our organizational values. I’m thrilled to have her joining our executive team at a time of tremendous growth and possibility for our mission” states David Emond, Liberty’s Kitchen Chief Executive Officer.

We are pleased to have her be a part of our team.

Partner Highlight: Life After “Boys Town”

February 05, 2018 | Partner Spotlight

We are joined by one of our community partners, Boys Town, for a highlight of their services and how our partnership helps to further the lives of young people in New Orleans.


Boys Town Louisiana gives desperate kids hope, helps parents succeed, and keeps families together. Our ultimate goal is to give kids and families the tools they need to help lead successful, healthy, and happy lives.

But what happens after they leave Boys Town Louisiana?


We collaborate with local organizations to make sure our kids and families continue on the path to success; one of these partnerships is with Liberty’s Kitchen. Specifically, BTL’s Family Home Program has referred 5 clients to date to the LK Job Training Program.

In the Family Home Program, Louisiana youth who cannot be with their families come together to stay in a single-family home, led by a Family-Teaching couple.  These parental role models take the kids to school, help them make dinner, hold them accountable to chores, and overall create a stable home environment they may have never had.

Upon entering the Family Home program, BTL staff assesses the needs of each child, including educational, vocational, and health. From there, we provide linkages to care to connect your youth to the path of individualized success; this is where Liberty’s Kitchen comes in.

If a youth expresses interest in learning the culinary industry and meets the appropriate criteria, we make an official referral the LK Youth Development Training Program. Since the boys in our Family Homes help with cooking dinner each night, our family teachers can teach them practical, home skills, and even encourage them to join LK if it seems like a good fit.

In our Family Home program, our Family Teachers are with our residential youth every step of the way. After life at BTL, it is a blessing to have a community partner like Liberty’s Kitchen continue to support our youth in their success, whether that be reaching educational goals, securing and retaining a job, or navigating social and health services.

Together, Boys Town Louisiana and Liberty’s Kitchen work together to give vulnerable youth in Louisiana opportunities they would not have otherwise.  Our organizations see children and families every day that have been hit hard by social and economic problems; but more importantly, we see them persevere and make great strides through our programs.

Between our two organizations, we can provide wrap-around services and tools needed for opportunity youth to achieve employability, economic independence, and overall, a bright and happy future.

Guest blog post by:

Julia Turkevich, Louisana Donor Relations Specialist, Boys Town Louisiana

Healthy Corner Store Collaborative

January 22, 2018 | Uncategorized

The New Orleans Healthy Corner Store Collaborative works alongside New Orleans corner store operators to maximize their business sustainability and increase the amount of fresh, healthy food they offer in-store. Hosted by Propeller, funded by the City of New Orleans, and operated by Liberty’s Kitchen and Top Box Foods, the Healthy Corner Store Collaborative is modeled after current, successful healthy corner store projects around the country, including the Urban Food Project in Birmingham, AL, the Food Trust in Philadelphia, PA, and DC Central Kitchen in Washington, DC.

More information about The New Orleans Healthy Corner Store Collaborative can be found HERE.