News From the Kitchen
Our monthly Guest Chef Night celebration was held on Thursday, March 15th featuring Chef Marcus Jacobs of Marjie’s Grill. Attendees enjoyed an unforgettable meal that included fresh cracklins, Thai-style ceviche, BBQ gulf shrimp, and Thai BBQ pork shank. Each course was paired with drinks courtesy of Roulaison Distilling Co., Wayward Owl Brewing Co., and Coffee Science. Additional food sponsors also included Home Place Pastures, Whole Foods Market, and Sprout NOLA.
Attendees also enjoyed a live auction with items from Bacchanal and a special opportunity to support our Youth Development Program and initiatives to combat food insecurity in New Orleans.
And, no Guest Chef Night is complete without celebrating our participants. Guests heard first-hand accounts from graduates CeCe and Liberty about how Liberty’s Kitchen helped them to achieve personal and professional goals.
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.
Liberty’s Kitchen closed out the 2017 season of Guest Chef Night on November 16th with a fun-filled night of fine dining courtesy of Tenney Flynn of GW Fins. Guests were pleasantly surprised by a champagne welcome along with complimentary wine pairings with each course, which Chef Flynn facilitated in having donated by Republic National Distributing Company and Kobrand Wines. Each course, with the exception of dessert, were seafood items sponsored by Inland Seafood.
Long standing supporters of Liberty’s Kitchen were in attendance as guests and volunteers. A true sense of community and joy was felt by all in the room. Additional volunteers were provided via our longstanding partnership with Starbucks, along with donations from Stephen Torres and Steelite who provided additional flatware and plates, and Ariodante Gallery who donated a piece of art for the live auction.
Attendees also had a chance to hear a first-hand testimonial from Kayla Wilson, a recent Liberty’s Kitchen graduate. Ahmaad Lott, a Young Men’s Voices have Power (YMVP) intern, also shared his thoughts on the importance of the work that Liberty’s Kitchen provides and the need to support New Orleans’ youth.
The Guest Chef Night series will resume in January 2018.
– Letrece R. Griffin, Marketing Specialist
On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the grand opening of Liberty’s Kitchen’s Taylor Center for Young Leadership. Nearly 100 Attendees were able to see firsthand the impact that the center strives to achieve by interacting with program trainees, alumni and staff.
The event included addresses from a mix of Liberty’s Kitchen’s alumna, executives, board members and staff. Andryan LaGarde, a 2015 alumna, lead the program and had the honor of cutting the ribbon. Executive Director, David Emond spoke about the organization’s growth and the vision of the center allowing for an even greater impact on New Orleans’ youth. Board Chair, Matthew Schwartz and Dennis Bagneris, Director of Youth Success, both echoed these sentiments and expectations during their addresses at the event. Phyllis Taylor of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation gave an inspirational talk about the overall mission along with a need to continuously be empowering and compassionate to others.
The Taylor Center for Young Leadership’s namesake comes courtesy of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, whose $250,000 donation was the cornerstone of the expansion. Additional sponsors and project leaders include the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Steve Rosenfeld & Margot Botsford, the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Foundation, the Ella West Freeman Foundation, Domain Companies, the Goldring Family Foundation, the Woldenberg Family Foundation, Woodward Design + Build, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, Frischhertz Electric, and AOS Interior Environments.
Attendees enjoyed touring the new space that is equipped with a technology lab, classroom and work space, along with an event space that is open for rental.
– Letrece R. Griffin, Marketing Specialist