LA veterans become chefs-in-training, prep for bright future

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- They're honing their cooking skills in the kitchen, but these aspiring chef may soon be preparing meals at Los Angeles restaurants.

The students are military veterans taking part in a free culinary arts training program through the Los Angeles County Veterans Center.

"This culinary program, unlike others, teaches them everything from A to Z in culinary arts," Chef David Scherer said.

The program is open to veterans, many of whom are homeless, and their families.

The vets in this culinary program are grateful for the opportunity.

"We'll see what kind of job I end up getting at the end of the course. I'm excited and also excited to cook for my family," student and veteran, Eduardo Gutierrez said.

Veteran Jose Gutierrez has been baking for decades, so this formal training is a positive thing for him.

"My interest is to further my education because I'm also a baker, been baking since the seventies," Jose Gutierrez said.

Chef and instructor, David Scherer of L.A. Trade Technical College, says he enjoys working with veterans.

"They're stronger students because they have, I think, a greater desire to become successful at what they're learning and they're fantastic students," Scherer said.

Cooking program student, Jamell Paxton, feels his military experience adds to what he's learning in this program.

"I do think we're more well-rounded," Paxton said.

The training takes place in a restaurant-grade kitchen. Students are provided everything they need, including a chef's coat.

As part of their graduation activities, the vets will cook a meal for potential employers and most likely get job offers.
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