News From the Kitchen
Keith Gardner, author of I Never Would Have Made it Without You, was back at Liberty’s Kitchen today to speak with our trainees and staff. He survived a seemingly-fatal injury, and now he shares the inspirational thoughts that pushed him through difficult times in his life. Here are a few of Keith’s points:
- Be grateful and don’t take anything for granted.
- Don’t be ashamed to ask other people for help.
- Dedication, determination, and willpower; it’s all up to you. If people are negative about your abilities, use that as motivation.
- Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and check yourself. Make a change for the better. We’ve all made mistakes, but we can also make a change.
- Surround yourself with good people and treat people right.
Keith’s visit was full of positive vibes and motivation for self-empowerment. Hopefully, everyone heard something that they could relate to and keep in mind as they work towards their goals. Inspirational stories like Keith’s prove that anything is possible. That’s something we truly believe at Liberty’s Kitchen.
-Posted by Miriam Teller, Development Intern
We are proud to announce that Liberty’s Kitchen has been awarded a 2017 Opportunity for All grant from The Starbucks Foundation! We welcome you to join us on August 16th at 12:00 PM to celebrate this milestone, and our long-standing partnership with Starbucks to create economic opportunities for youth in New Orleans.
Beyond great coffee and conversation, the event will be an opportunity to hear from leaders at Liberty’s Kitchen and Starbucks, and most importantly, celebrate the young men and women who we serve through employment and life skills training. With our newly announced Opportunity for All grant from Starbucks, we will be able to further our impact within the community through our employment training and leadership development programs, and continue our work providing freshly prepared, nutritious meals to local school children.
Building on over 20 years of giving, The Starbucks Foundation has a long legacy of investing in communities through support of organizations working to create job and education opportunities. With its new Opportunity for All initiative, the organization is deepening its focus on three populations – youth, veterans and military spouses, and refugees. Starbucks is proud to select Liberty’s Kitchen as an inaugural recipient of the 2017 Opportunity for All grants.
Please join us for a coffee tasting, brief remarks, and an open house with our Starbucks partners, Liberty’s Kitchen staff, volunteers, civic leaders and other special guests. We hope to see you there! Please feel free to RSVP to Jamie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 16, 2017
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Starbucks @ Canal St. & St. Charles
700 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70119
Last Thursday was our sixth Guest Chef Night, this time featuring Chef Alex Harrell of Angeline. Chef Harrell opened Angeline in 2015, and is both executive chef and owner of Angeline. His food “brings a fresh, refined approach on Southern cuisine to the French Quarter.” Chef Harrell uses fresh, local southern ingredients and incorporates French techniques to create elevated Southern dishes. Originally from Alabama, he is passionate about bringing his vision of Southern food to New Orleans.
To Chef Harrell, cooking is about community. Chef Harrell participated in Guest Chef Night as an opportunity to give back to the local culinary community and have a special day in a new kitchen. He arrived at 2 PM to prepare and cook the entire meal with LK trainees. For the menu, he wanted to keep the dishes light and summery. The meal was delicious!
During the event, we took the time to celebrate three special Liberty’s Kitchen graduates.
Liberty graduated from the program last year; she’s been working as a barista trainer in the cafe for the past eight months. We celebrated Liberty last night because she is about to have a baby!
Devon is the second graduate we celebrated. He completed his externship as a host and busser at The Ruby Slipper Cafe, and was offered a job to stay on at the restaurant.
Last but not least, we honored Janisha, who graduated from the Youth Development Program on Friday! She completed her externship as a host at The Ruby Slipper Cafe. Her favorite tier of the program was catering and baking. Janisha is looking forward to returning to Oglethorpe University in Atlanta this fall.
“I don’t have anything negative to say, I gave [LK] a try and loved it since the very first day. I learned to ‘trust the process.’ It can refer to anything, like going back to school, or trust in yourself.” — Janisha
Thanks again to Chef Harrell and Angeline! Special thanks to sponsor Home Place Pastures for donating the pork belly and conducting a presentation with our trainees about ethical meat farming.
Thanks to West Elm for continuously providing gorgeous event decor, and to our hard-working volunteers who make these dinners possible. If you’re interested in volunteering, click here for more information.
Guest Chef Night was such a blast, the food was amazing, and it’s always great to celebrate our graduates. We are excited to announce that on August 17th, Chef Ysaac Ramirez of Josephine Estelle at the Ace Hotel will be our next guest chef! Make sure to get your tickets here, and we will see you then.
Posted by Miriam Teller, Development Intern
On Monday we shared a special day at the café with Event Pros Take Action (EPTA). EPTA is an organization that brings together professionals from the events industry to volunteer in different communities around the country. It is the third year in a row that we had the opportunity to meet with members of this organization for an impactful and uplifting program.
We were all split into small groups and went around to five different workshops, each lead by a different volunteer from EPTA. In each workshop, we focused on different ways to work towards success and cultivate personal growth.
Here is a list of my main takeaways from the day:
- Goals should be challenging to accomplish, but ultimately attainable. Make your goals specific so that you can track your progress and stay on the path towards achieving them. With reaching any goal, “consistency builds credibility,” which leads to improvement and success. — Jack Weiner and David Lombardo, Business workshop
- A three step plan for success: first, figure out what you love to do; second, get really good at it, third, figure out how to get paid for it. — Anna Zilinskas and Bobby Dutton, Social Media workshop
- Seeing certain experiences as challenges, not problems, means that we can take them on and succeed; we can still achieve our goals by staying strong and positive. –Dana Stiles and Harold Baily, Overcoming Adversity workshop
- Wherever you are, you can find a moment to close your eyes, breath, and meditate. — Jennifer Dutton, Health and Wellness workshop
- Baking requires focus and precision, which are two important characteristics in accomplishing any goal — Jon Petrie and Erin Schrepfer, “Christmas in July” Pastry workshop
Overall, the day had strong messages about how to stay positive and passionate, both personally and professionally. It was a time for everyone to reflect on their personal growth and focus on their goals for post-graduation from Liberty’s Kitchen.
— Posted by Miriam Teller, Development intern