News From the Kitchen
Liberty’s Kitchen has three trainees participating in externships with local partnering restaurants: Dedrick, Nadja, and Shayne. We checked in with our externs to hear about their experiences so far.
Dedrick, or “DD”, has felt right at home with District Donuts. So far, DD has been helping out wherever he can at District, handling everything from washing dishes and bussing tables to interacting with customers. When asked about his favorite part of the externship so far, DD replied, “Everything. It’s really cool over there, I love it.” As District allows him to get more involved in the back of house, DD says he “can’t wait to learn the stuff they do, like making everything from scratch.”
Nadja has really taken to her position at Good Karma Prasad Cafe in Swan River Yoga. So far, Nadja has been working both in the front and back of house at Good Karma. She often prepares smoothies and runs the cash register, putting her barista skills to good use! Nadja has enjoyed her externship because “the atmosphere is so relaxing” at Good Karma Cafe. The Cafe’s primarily vegan menu has also helped Nadja “become more diverse in [her] food choices.” Stop by Good Karma Cafe to have Nadja serve up her favorite dish, the Malaysian Curry.
Shayne has been splitting his time in the New Orleans Healing Center between the New Orleans Food Co-op and Cafe Istanbul. Over at Cafe Istanbul, Shayne has been helping with maintenance work, while at the New Orleans Food Co-op, he has been working in the deli section. Shayne has enjoyed his time at both locations, commenting “I like that I’m able to be myself.” He also noted his excitement at the possibility of being moved to the cash register to improve his skills with customer interaction.
Chris is a trainee in Liberty’s Kitchen’s Youth Development Program. Having started in December, Chris has recently moved into the culinary skills training part of the program. We sat down with Chris to talk about his experience so far.
How would you describe your experience at Liberty’s Kitchen so far?
So far, Liberty’s Kitchen has taught me knife skills, how to measure ingredients, how to cook things at the right temperature, and where to eat. I wasn’t expecting it to be this fun. Cooking has been my favorite part, I never envisioned myself working with knives and stuff.
What do you want to be doing in five years?
I plan on studying computer science, engineering, and business management in college so that I can run my own music studio.
Tell us something about yourself that we might not know about you.
I like to skate a lot and I love making music.
What’s your favorite Mardi Gras parade?
If I had to pick one, it would have to be Zulu.
Chris is a quick learner who is already showing off his skills in the kitchen. Stop by Liberty’s Kitchen to see what Chris and the rest of his class are cooking up!
Mother of Nykira, 7
Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS
Why did you decide to join Liberty’s Kitchen?
I was interested in the training program and working in a kitchen. I like to cook, and I want to do something other than work in a chicken plant like my family and friends back home.
What do you like about Liberty’s Kitchen?
It’s the atmosphere and friendly people. I love everyone here!
What is your favorite food at Liberty’s Kitchen?
Everything! Because it’s fresh.
What is your goal for employment after graduation from Liberty’s Kitchen?
I want to be a prep cook.
Has Liberty’s Kitchen helped you feel confident to reach your goals?
It’s given me the knowledge and techniques to get a good job. Chef Paul takes the time to guide me step-by-step through everything – and he is silly! Liberty’s Kitchen teaches you a very good work ethic, it really does.
Kierra is full of energy and life –
she currently delivers excellent customer service working at the register and coffee bar!