Colo. veterans making the cut in new butcher class

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DENVER -- Some Colorado military veterans are trying to make the cut in a competitive job market. And they're getting some help from a master butcher.

Mark DeNittis, Director of Culinary Curriculum at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts in LoDo, knows there's an influx of veterans needing work. And not too long ago, he realized the business of butchery, was the perfect fit.

“I think it`s amazing. I didn`t choose to go into the armed services myself, but this is an opportunity to give back to people who have given so much on so many levels that I can`t even imagine,” DeNittis told FOX 31.

Cook Street teamed with the Denver office of Economic Development to offer an eight day butcher class for unemployed, or underemployed veterans, or those about to get out of the military.

People like Krystal Alfonso, who gets out of the Air Force later this month. After taking this class, she thinks cooking school may be the next step for her.

“I still don`t know what I want to do when I grow up, so I`m very interested in the hands on learning, the French and Italian classical cuisine,” she said.

She's one of 16 student veterans taking part. The school is offering this class twice a year. And it isn't just for fun. The idea is to give veterans a real career option, and when the classes are all done, help them find a job in the food service industry.

“If I can just give something back that is gonna help someone down the road, it’s tremendous to me, I`m so grateful and thankful,” DeNittis said.

He says the art of butchery has returned to the culinary limelight.  Some of the best restaurants in town, now cut up their own cows. So there are plenty of opportunities for veterans, if they’re not opposed to serving food... after the hard work of serving their country.

At the end of the class, students get a certificate of completion - and they get continuing education points from the American Culinary Federation.

To learn more about the program, click here: http://www.cookstreet.com/

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