If you attended Liberty’s Kitchen Come Grow With Us on Sept. 30, you were among those who delighted in one of the most delicious events of the year. 

The party at the Ace Hotel paired 14 New Orleans restaurants and chefs with 21 Liberty’s Kitchen’s trainees and alumni to help prepare and serve dishes to event guests.

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What was on the menu? Some food choices included: beet-cured trout with crème fraîche, fried capers and salmon roe; salmon tartare with soy ailoi, yuzu ponzu and heirloom tomatoes; crab and camembert ravioli butternut squash with veloute and toasted hazelnut, crispy pancetta herb salad; and roasted delicata squash, chanterelle mushrooms and black truffles with hot parmigiano reggiano foam. 

And it wasn’t just about food: the event honored Kennedy Roberts and Isaiah Talbert with the Janet Gorence Davas Youth Achievement Award; Charlie Fontenelle, Outstanding Volunteer Award; and Amanda and Isaac Toups, Calvin Johnson Food Justice Advocate Award.

Liberty’s Kitchen was founded in 2008 to provide ways for New Orleans young people to create and achieve their vision of success.

While youth workforce development training takes place in a culinary setting, not all graduates pursue positions within a restaurant or kitchen, with some taking their training and skills and applying them to careers in healthcare, hotels and construction.

Co-Chairs were Michael Hecht and Aaron Motwani; and Chef Amy Mehrtens of Copper Vine was the Honorary Culinary Chair. 

Fun Fact: Liberty’s Kitchen’s Refresh Project at 300 N. Broad St. is planning to reopen the café in the spring 2023.

Instagram: @libertyskitchen

Liberty’s Kitchen Come Grow With Us

Bivian Sonny Lee, Chef Amy Mehrtens, Bernadette Lucas, Calvin Johnson 

Liberty’s Kitchen Come Grow With Us

Jenelle Sloblof, Neal Cohen, Kara Johnson 

Liberty’s Kitchen Come Grow With Us

Jeff Good, Melissa Sawyer

Liberty’s Kitchen Come Grow With Us

Tiffany Harvill, Stephen Hanemann, Jenn Hanemann 

Liberty’s Kitchen Come Grow With Us

Jimmy Meyer, Hope Meyer, Charlie Fontenelle  

Liberty’s Kitchen Come Grow With Us

Aaron Motwani, Ayesha Motwani