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From Cop to Cook

Posted on April 24, 2013 02:05 pm

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IN REINVENTING HERSELF, Janet Burgess has traded one vice
for another.
Passionate about healthy eating and teaching others how
to cook, she leads "4 Little Cooks" classes for children in the
kitchen of her San Carlos home. Her new cookbook, Chop, Cook,
Munch; Fun, Fast & Fresh Recipes for Young Chefs, features 64
child-tested recipes. "Yucky" ingredients such as broccoli, carrots
and zucchini become snack or dinner favorites.
That's a far cry from when Burgess was one of the San Diego
Police Department's first woman officers. She was assigned to
the vice squad and played the role of a hooker, arresting any
number of Johns who propositioned her.
"Fourth and F was my corner," she recalls. After leaving the
department, Burgess joined the city attorney's office as a consumer
fraud investigator.
Today, she stands in front of a Dacor range showing kids
from 5 to 13 how to prepare snacks and entrees. The lessons
are $25 for each two-hour session; new classes begin in January.
Before diving into recipes such as "Pizza Party with Everything"
or "Doey Gooey Berry Bars," Burgess immerses the new
chefs in a lesson on sanitation and kitchen safety tips.
"Kids are fearless," Burgess says. "There's no sense of embarrassment
in the kitchen." And those "yucky" ingredients?
When they're transformed to dishes such as "Healthy Nachos,"
"it's all hands on deck," she says.

IN REINVENTING HERSELF, Janet Burgess has traded one vicefor another.

Passionate about healthy eating and teaching others howto cook, she leads "4 Little Cooks" classes for children in thekitchen of her San Carlos home. Her new cookbook, Chop, Cook,Munch; Fun, Fast & Fresh Recipes for Young Chefs, features 64child-tested recipes. "Yucky" ingredients such as broccoli, carrotsand zucchini become snack or dinner favorites.

That's a far cry from when Burgess was one of the San DiegoPolice Department's first woman officers. She was assigned tothe vice squad and played the role of a hooker, arresting anynumber of Johns who propositioned her.

"Fourth and F was my corner," she recalls. After leaving thedepartment, Burgess joined the city attorney's office as a consumerfraud investigator.

Today, she stands in front of a Dacor range showing kidsfrom 5 to 13 how to prepare snacks and entrees. The lessonsare $25 for each two-hour session; new classes begin in January.

Before diving into recipes such as "Pizza Party with Everything"or "Doey Gooey Berry Bars," Burgess immerses the newchefs in a lesson on sanitation and kitchen safety tips.

"Kids are fearless," Burgess says. "There's no sense of embarrassmentin the kitchen." And those "yucky" ingredients?When they're transformed to dishes such as "Healthy Nachos,""it's all hands on deck," she says.

--Carl Larsen

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