Ashanti Blaize, NBCDFW.com
A new North Richland Hills restaurant is serving up new beginnings along with burgers.
A burger joint in North Richland Hills is serving up new beginnings with its gourmet fare.
The kitchen of Best Tex Burger in the 7600 block of Mid Cities Boulevard, is not just cooking up burgers -- it's creating opportunities.
"We're trying to do the best burger we can," co-owner Vedat Lika said. "I have a few of my former students working for me right now."
Lika spent years working at the Tarrant Food Bank's Community Kitchen, where he taught low-income students culinary arts. When he left and opened Best Tex Burger with partner David Lucas, he brought former students Edwin Smith and Cedric Darty with him.
"He asked me did I want to come work with him, and I told him, 'Of course,'" Smith said.
The deal was one year's hard work for a little ownership.
"I told them, 'If you stay one year, you're going to have a piece of the action,'" Lika said.
Darty said it was a deal he just couldn't pass up.
"It's like a push, to tell you the truth," he said. "Because I know it's like, I'm working for myself and it's like, the harder I work, the more we make, and I'm getting a piece of that."
It's just the beginning for Lika. He'll soon open another restaurant that will be Community Kitchen by morning and cafe by afternoon.
"Give them the book learning, but they have to open up the cafe at 11:30, so now when they go in the real world, they're going to know what it's like," Lika said.
His former students say it's a recipe that yields success.
"It's changing me all around -- a whole new different direction. So yeah, it's a blessing," Darty said.