From a small veggie café to a restaurant chain known for their huge menus to an underwater restaurant where she soaked up all the hospitality magic of Disney World, Chef Liberty Rodgers’ career path has supplied her with all the elements of an amazing school chef.
As executive chef with Chartwells K12 at Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Charter Schools, Rodgers has built on her culinary experience and reached new heights in serving kids in the community. We talk about how she got here and what she’s planning for the future.
She learned the basics—knife skills, prep, working a line—at that vegetarian café. Later, at Cheesecake Factory, Rodgers got a dose of high volume and a super-fast pace. And Disney World is a world of its own when it comes to customer service, attention to detail and a staff that’s on the same page with the same goal: the guests. Even a brief detour into massage therapy has provided Rodgers with a valuable awareness of ergonomics in the kitchen. She talks about coaching employees out of harmful repetitive motions. And finally, she tells us about a project she’s especially proud of: The Compass Education Diversity and Inclusion Committee.