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Cooking school competes for grant; needs your vote

By TIM GUERCIO

NATCHEZ — Proper nutrition is important and many people don’t know the proper techniques to cook their own healthy food, a Natchez entrepreneur said.

Jarita Frazier-King and her husband, Roderick, own a building at 408 N. MLK Jr. St. that they hope to open as a cooking school in the near future, Natchez Heritage School of Cooking.

After some minor remodeling, Frazier-King said she hopes to soon be open for business and teaching cooking classes.

“They will learn how to prepare food,” Frazier-King said, “how to host with the proper etiquette and customer relations to name the most important roles first.”

Frazier-King said the cooking school also will have a learning center for 16 to 22 year old people from Natchez who want to learn.

Frazier-King said she believes proper nutrition is important for everyone to know, and she came to that realization after working in the healthcare field.

Frazier-King said she earned her bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Alcorn State University and while working in healthcare saw a lot of people with high blood pressure and adult onset diabetes.

“I saw people who were losing limbs because of poor nutrition.” Frazier-King said.

So five years ago, Frazier-King said, she started teaching people how to cook the old dishes and the roots of soul food cooking to help people understand nutrition as it pertains to the preparation of traditional cooking.

“I want people to learn how they can avoid fats, salts and sugars,” Frazier-King said. “There are substitutes, you know, but you have to stay away from too much of those three. We also used to eat to sustain ourselves, now we just eat to eat.”

To help her with expenses, Frazier-King is competing in an online contest sponsored by FedEx for a chance to win one of many cash grants, the top prize being a $50,000 grant.

The winner will be selected based on the number of votes each contestant garners.

To vote, people can go to smallbusinessgrant.fedex.com and search for Natchez Heritage School of Cooking.

Visitors to the website can vote every day until April 1 when the contest ends.

Frazier-King said people also could vote on her Facebook page, Natchez Heritage School of Cooking.

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