Syrena's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Full Circle

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New Orleans, LA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 11

SYRENA JOHNSON

Chef
Liberty's Kitchen

“Don't let life go by. Don't be shy, don't be timid. If you want it, get out there and get it.”

INTERESTS:

Entrepreneurship Food

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Goals Hard Work Simplicity Choices Doubt Failure Fear Perseverance Struggle Experience

FOUNDATION:

Learning and Being Challenged

TAGS:

23, bad neighborhood, burrito joint, catering paperwork, challenge, chef, culinary school, fine dining, food, friends, learning, Liberty's Kitchen, New Orleans, restaurant, restaurants, shy, students, timid, work

BIOGRAPHY:

  • She was raised in uptown New Orleans, which she calls "one of the grimiest places."
  • Growing up, she easily could've gone down a bad path, but she always chose to work and stay in school.
  • Her first job was at McDonald's; she started at the bottom and worked her way up to fine dining.
  • Looking back, she realizes she was always in the kitchen with her mother; that passion was always inside of her-she just had to identify it.
  • Now she works at Liberty's Kitchen, a program for at-risk youth that teaches job skills through cooking.
  • Her dream is to have her own restaurant where everyone who comes to eat can lick their plate clean and leave happy.
  • For a long time, she thought her hard work would never pay off, but with a little bit of patience, she's been able to see her labor come to fruition.
  • Says you have to get out there and get what you want: she's 23 years old and living all of her dreams because she went after them.

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