Mar 282017

The main course for Guest Chef Night was New​ ​Orleans​ ​Crawfish-Stuffed​ ​Chicken​ ​with​ ​Charred​ ​Scallion​ ​Gravy, Field​ ​Peas​ ​and​ ​Popcorn​ ​Rice. (Zach Brien, MidCityMessenger.com)

The Central Business District is getting a little fresher next month, thanks to a local program that helps young people achieve personal and economic independence.

Liberty’s Kitchen, a social enterprise that seeks to give young adults the tools they need to further their lives, is expanding to the CBD. The program will assume management of the cafeteria in the Freeport-McMoRan Building, located at 1615 Poydras St., starting April 24.

The building’s third floor cafeteria, which is open to the public, serves about 700 guests daily for breakfast and lunch. While maintaining a focus on quick and affordable options for patrons working in the immediate area, the cafeteria will also now feature a Starbucks “We Proudly Serve” coffee bar, open weekdays from 7am-2pm, and catering services for surrounding businesses will also be offered.

With the expansion, Liberty’s Kitchen also plans to introduce new career track services for local youth and young adults who have experienced disconnection from education and employment, according to a press release.

Students who have successfully completed Liberty’s Kitchen’s entry-level hospitality industry training will have access to “next level” training, “equipping them with the skills and experience they need to climb the ladder to sustainable, living wage jobs and leadership positions in their chosen field,” the release said.

“We are so grateful to Freeport-McMoRan for thinking outside the box and recognizing the opportunity to achieve meaningful social impact through this partnership,” David Emond, Liberty’s Kitchen’s executive director, said.

Liberty’s kitchen recently kickstarted Guest Chef Night to celebrate graduates from their Youth Development Program. Guest Chefs Susan Spicer (of Bayona, Rosedale) and Candis Koerner (of Mondo) prepared a three-course meal for guests with the help of students and graduates from the program last month.

To learn more about Liberty’s Kitchen, or how you can get involved, visit www.libertyskitchen.org.

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