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The Betty Ehart Senior Center is hoping residents will take advantage of the center as it presents its final Frugal Friday this week. The food related fun is a chance for the senior center to spotlight the chefs during National Senior Center month.
The day in the life of these chefs starts much earlier than for others. Chef Fred Ortiz and Chef Michael Mason begin their day when the sun comes up, in order to serve the seniors each day.
Chef Ortiz has been cooking for 28 years, but has only considered himself a chef for the last 20. Chef Mason has been in the kitchen since he was age 14, doing mainly prep work and was taking the lead by age 16.
Chef Ortiz began his career cooking at Philomena’s Mexican Restaurant, learning the tricks of the trade on the job.
Chef Mason began at a restaurant in Española that was open for just two years and went on to meet Chef Scott Shampine and worked as his apprentice for a few years before continuing on to culinary school to receive a degree.
The BESC chefs work hard, overseeing the menu, ordering the food all while maintaining compliance with state guidelines for nutrition. The chefs feed hundreds of hungry seniors each month, while trying to satisfy the variety of palettes.
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