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Student operated restaurant, Taste of Liberty, hosts open house in Jackson

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - A local high school in Jackson hosted its open house today.

The student-operated restaurant, Taste of Liberty, is open for its last day of the school semester and people from the community are getting a bite to eat.

Keandre Lee is an eleventh grader in the culinary arts program at Liberty Tech and explains why he enjoys cooking.

“It incentivizes creativity, mostly. Like whenever you accidentally messed up, you can think on the fly and make something good out of it. Like let’s say you burn your nachos, you may be able to crush them up and put them on something else to make them delicious,” said Keandre Lee, an eleventh grader at Liberty Technology Magnet High School.

The Taste of Liberty restaurant program prepares students to enter the culinary workforce after graduation and one student already has plans for his future.

“After high school, I plan to go into the restaurant business. Hopefully, getting started there, become a waiter, and then slowly work my way back to the kitchen. And, becoming the executive chef of my own restaurant one day,” said Anando Penge, an eleventh grader at Liberty Technology Magnet High School.

The program had been closed for the last two school years due to COVID so the instructor of the class was excited to open their doors again.

“So, it was a disadvantage for our students that are in the upper culinary classes to take online classes because they couldn’t have that hands-on experience that we offer them in the classroom. So being able to actually teach them back in the kitchen again was just an awesome experience for all of us,” said Leslie Emerson, the culinary arts instructor at Liberty Technology Magnet High School.

Taste of Liberty is expected to reopen for the new year in late January after all of the participating students earn their certifications.

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