For Brad “Grill Sergeant” Turner, Brothers Who Can Cook is all about helping other chefs reach their professional goals. As a head mentor, one could say with the Baltimore program, he works with other black male chefs in the area to help them develop their brands and expand their careers to include TV and book projects.
“As long as they are doing the work, we’ll work with them. And the only thing we ask is that they invest back in the program, Brothers Who Can Cook, with their time, “says Turner who is originally from New Orleans and retired from the military in 2010. The program, founded by Ujimma Masani, is free to participating chefs and also has a focus on serving communities the chefs work in as well. The program currently has chapters in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.
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Turner has worked with the program and chefs for two years now sharing his experiences from cooking around the world. Many remember him as the host of the show, “Grill Sergeant,” which is now on Hulu after spending three seasons on TV from 2007-2009. He has also appeared on “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” and has an upcoming appearance on another reality culinary show that will air later this year. His TV experience combined with his 20 years of cooking, provide a lot of insight and guidance for other chefs looking to take their careers to the next level.
Trained on both the sweet and savory side, the self-proclaimed gumbo ambassador says although he doesn’t get back to New Orleans much, he is holding up the torch for New Orleans cuisine and flavors on the East coast.
In addition to working with chefs on growing their culinary careers, Brothers Who Can Cook aims to promote a healthy quality of life for communities, especially those that are plagued with the growing obesity rate. Turner says that many of the beloved dishes of New Orleans are very adaptable to ingredients that can make it a lighter fare. In fact, he says he has “upgraded” many of the recipes to reflect the need for healthy dishes. His vegetarian gumbo is a prime example.
Turner along with chefs Mookie Hicks and Cooking Tye, just to name a couple, are scheduled to be a part of this year’s Brothers Who Can Cook charity event that was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 2. It has been postponed due to recent events in the city of Baltimore but a future date will be announced. If you haven’t purchased your ticket, there still may be time as the event takes place annually and this year will benefit the Christian Warriors Marching Band and other charitable causes in the communities of the city. The event will allow foodies to taste some amazing food while giving back. Chefs will prepare healthy appetizers and signature dishes to be enjoyed throughout the evening. In addition, three chefs will receive the Renaissance Man Award for their entrepreneurial and charitable efforts.
For more information about Brothers Who Can Cook such as how to get involved or to purchase tickets, go to www.brotherswhocancook.com. Please be sure to check back online for the new date. You can also “Like” them on Facebook to stay updated on what is going on with the program and the event.