Dennis brings over 15 years of program management experience to Liberty’s Kitchen, where he’s held leadership roles since 2011. Prior to becoming our CEO, Dennis was our Youth Development and Leadership Program Director where he ensured our programs had a youth-centered voice. As CEO, Dennis makes sure we’re adhering to our organizational values and are moving forward in line with our vision for the future.
Bernadette has been in finance for over 20 years and at Liberty’s Kitchen since early 2018. A New Orleans native, Bernadette connects with the mission of Liberty’s Kitchen and is here to serve some of the city’s most marginalized youth. Prior to her time at Liberty’s Kitchen, she served as board chair for Common Ground Health Clinic for four years.
Harry is responsible for fundraising and sustainability strategy as well as the evolution and implementation of our program strategy. He brings ten years’ experience in community health, political organizing, and youth development, as well as some formative time in coffee shops, food trucks and restaurants. Harry believes in the power of food and community to build a better, more just society.
Tasheena has been at Liberty’s Kitchen since 2014, initially as our Culinary Training Coordinator where she created our Culinary Training curriculum for our Youth Development Program. As Site Director for our Broad Street location, she ensures our team balances the training we deliver to our youth with restaurant-quality service. Aside from her role at Liberty’s Kitchen, Tasheena is the Mission and Service Coordinator at St. Joseph’s Church in New Orleans.
Nadine has over 20 years’ experience in Human Resources. Prior to Liberty’s Kitchen, Nadine worked with the Dickie Brennan Restaurant Group. Nadine loves connecting with the trainees and making an impact on them.
Tori is the first chef instructor who the students work with at Liberty’s Kitchen. Under her guidance, students learn how to properly hold a knife and the importance of kitchen math, among other skills. Tori and the students also prepare the twice-daily meals for their colleagues and staff members that they eat as a family. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find Tori at an art museum, or cheering on her kids at their soccer and volleyball games.
Chef Jesse is responsible for our Broad Street Cafe menu and is also our back of house instructor. She came to Liberty’s Kitchen to share her 25 years of kitchen experience with others. A seasoned industry expert, Jesse recognizes talent in her students and patiently waits for them to realize it for themselves.
Michelle ensures we’re telling our story the best we can. Her many hats include communications and fundraising campaigns, donor relations, and special events. Before she moved to development, she was our Pastry Instructor, and if she’s not at her desk, she’s probably teaching a cycling class, at a concert, or baking scones.
As part of the development team, Mara is responsible for maintaining our annual reporting duties and writing compelling proposals for new grant opportunities. She has a background in art history, and in her free time she visits museums, makes jewelry, and bikes around the city.
As Marketing Associate, Mary helps plan and implement our marketing and advertising activities. She helps us promote both the Broad Cafe and Poydras Cafeteria, events, and recruitment of trainees to our programs.
As Senior Program Manager, Brianna (known as “Ms. Bri”) is one of the first friendly faces the students meet during their orientation, and is a resource they can count on during their 12 weeks at Liberty’s Kitchen. When Ms. Bri isn’t at Liberty’s Kitchen, she’s traveling the U.S. or learning everything she can about Japanese culture.
As Community Resource Manager, guenevere works hard to ensure that trainees receive the social supports they need to succeed. She has a background in public health and a passion for nutrition, the environment, and how they connect. In her free time, guenevere gardens, bikes around the city, and creates art.
As Career Specialist, Morgan helps students brush up their cover letters and resumes while encouraging them to dream of and work toward their goals. With over 12 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Morgan has worked in every position from server to general manager. When he’s not at Liberty’s Kitchen, you can find him practicing jiu-jitsu and spending time outdoors with his wife.
Da’Mon’s path with Liberty’s Kitchen has come full circle. A 2017 graduate of the YDP, Da’Mon worked most recently as the lead line cook at Ruby Slipper Cafe before returning to Liberty’s Kitchen this year as the Program Associate, where he mentors incoming participants and is their first point of contact upon enrolling in the program. In his free time, Da’Mon plays basketball and video games.
Kira joined Liberty’s Kitchen in 2017 and has been working in kitchens for over eight years. The trainees spend two weeks with Kira during their the back of house rotation, where she trains them on how to properly expedite orders. Kira loves that her job allows her to combine her kitchen experience with teaching young people.
Shantrell joined Liberty’s Kitchen because she loves talking with customers and training young people on how to make the perfect coffee drink. Outside of work, Shantrell loves to play basketball and cook.
Shawn has been at Liberty’s Kitchen since 2016. A graduate of our Youth Development Program, Shawn ensures that our kitchen and classroom spaces are in great condition.
Tabetha has been at Liberty’s Kitchen Poydras since 2017. She is the Poydras Program Manager, coordinating on-site training activities ranging from resume writing to customer service.
Lee has over 30 years of cooking experience and has worked at the Poydras cafeteria for 24 years. He has experience in Louisianan and Italian food cooking and is at Liberty’s Kitchen because he loves helping young adults improve their lives through teaching them culinary skills.
Yvette has been working at the Poydras Street location for five years and loves what the Youth Development Program stands for. A mother and grandmother, Yvette has been working since she was 15 years old and understands the importance of helping young people develop a strong work ethic.
Lashaun has been at Liberty’s Kitchen since 2017 and in the hospitality industry since 2015. A New Orleans native, Lashaun trains our students on how to appropriately and efficiently work on the line and expedite menu items.
Sunje has worked in hospitality for nearly 15 years and her experience spans all aspects of working in kitchens, making her a great trainer for the young people who come through our Youth Development Program. Sunje likes seeing her regular customers and getting a chance to teach young people how to work in a kitchen.