The world has Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray and Gordon Ramsay, but no one can really dish up a ‘blazin’ delicious dish like an American firefighter.
Due to the down time firefighters spend waiting for that bell to ring throughout the station, cooking in many firehouses has become a traditional pastime which leads to mouthwatering recipes and some “fiery” competitions.
In Gainesville, Florida, one department is known for their “controlled burned wings,” that they serve at the spring chicken festival. An Orlando firefighter who perfected his firehouse families’favorite recipe Churrasco steak at the station even made it to the top on the television show Master Chef. In Miami Beach, firefighters starred in their own cable TV show, “Cooking with Fire”.
Florida isn’t the only state with “hot” cooking skills. When it comes to food, most fire stations don’t shy away from a heated competition. There is hardly a chili cook-off that doesn’t have a firehouse team. Louisiana firehouses are known for their intense crawfish boils. Bar-b-que has become such a staple in firehouses, that several bar-b-que sauces are branded with references to firehouse cooking.
So famous in fact, firehouse cooking has a “Cook and Ladder” competition show on the Food Network in which the top ten fire fighting chefs in the country put their blazing dishes to the test. Some of the stand out recipes include Caribbean Blaze Shrimp, Spicy Spreadable Cheesecake and Firehouse Fra-Diavolo. It seems firefighters like to keep the heat in the kitchen as well.
Beyond providing some healthy competition and basic sustenance, meals are also an important recipe for building a strong team. Meals are a chance for the entire crew to sit together as a family would, dealing with difficult situations and bonding.
The tradition of meal planning and cooking has also led to many firefighters having second careers and starting a business in the food industry like the national sandwich chain “Firehouse Subs.”
So, what are some of your favorite dishes in the firehouse? The most popular choices are hot chili, yummy homemade pizza, messy bar-b-que, and roasted chicken. Got a winning recipe? Comment below to share your recipes! Here’s one of our favorites:
Firefighter.com’s Double Meat Chili Recipe
3 Large Onions cut small, browned in butter by themselves
2lbs ground beef browned in pan alone
1 qt of canned tomatoes- mashed up
1 can Campbell’s tomato soup, plus one can of water
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper(add more as desired)
one can of kidney beans rinsed.
simmer for one hour.