Brownsville culinary center gets people cookin'

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BROWNSVILLE -

The Brownsville Community Culinary Center has people swapping out their tool belts for spatulas as part of its 40-week training program.

Jason Gutierrez, 31, spent years working as an exterminator, but has now given up the bugs to tackle cooking. Gutierrez joined the culinary center program for a chance to receive classroom-based instruction and hands-on training.

With help from chef Olufemi Rodney Frazer, who left behind his job at a Bed-Stuy restaurant to help do more for his community, Gutierrez is learning to cut up vegetables, cook meat and bake delicious treats.

Frazer says he hopes the program helps Brownsville residents build a foundation to live the lives they've dreamed about.

"I just want to see them become more than they started off with," says Frazer. "If they become better eaters, better parents, but also productive people in their communities."

Gutierrez says it's never too late to switch careers and pursue your passion.

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