ULTIMATE FIRE DEPARTMENT COOK-OFF

Come sample the culinary delights of the firehouse chefs from the following Fire Departments:

chefBayonne Fire Department
Chef David Sisk

Sous Chefs:
Pete Aiello
Jimmy Lonnay
Steve Lombardi


Belleville Fire Department
Chef Dennis Ives

Sous Chefs:
Cliff Lawrence
Tom Escott


Carteret Fire Department
Chef: Jason Lombardi

Sous Chef:
Brendon Rhodes


Cranford Fire Department
Chef Matt Lubin


I've been a career firefighter in Cranford for two years, having previously served four years as a
volunteer. I became interested in cooking at an early age by watching Emeril Lagasse on the food network. I remember my father taking me to a live cooking expo with chef Paul Dillon in Union, which really accelerated my interest in it. My favorite type of food to prepare is that of the Mediterranean cultures; mainly Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Greek. I've traveled to Italy, Greece, and France and absolutely love their food culture.


Elizabeth Fire Department
Chef Dennis Connor

I've been a firefighter for 25 years and cooking for the guys at the firehouse since day one. My prior cooking experience was at Jack Coopers Celebrity Deli for 5 years.

Sous Chefs:
Gregg LaSpata
Tim Mulroy


Hamilton Fire DeptHamilton Township Fire District #2
Chef Raymond J. Krajcsovics

I started my fire career as volunteer in 1986 and became a career firefighter in 2003 with Washington Township and transferred to Hamilton Township in 2007. Ray is also a part time paramedic, EMT instructor and Fire Inspector. I started cooking as a child with my grandmother. When I started working in the firehouse, someone needed to cook. I soon realized that the cook was a pretty good position. You get to eat what YOU want and there is no cleaning after meals. Since I don't watch sports, it is common for me to watch the Food Network and seek different ideas for meals.


Hillside Fire Dept.

Hillside Fire Department
Chef Christopher Chervenyak

I have been on the Hillside Fire Department since 2000. I mainly learned to cook from hanging around the kitchen with my mother cooking for a family of 7 (mom, dad, 3 brother and a sister). I started working as a cook at 15 at Ground Round and then onto Benningan's. During college I worked at The K Tavern, now Joe's Place, as a short order cook & bartender. When I got on the job, I told the guys I'd cook everyday as long as I'm not on the ambulance. Guys would actually take my ambulance days just so I would cook for them. Now I'm not on the ambulance anymore and that statement is coming back to haunt me. I like to cook and eat healthy so I always try to lower the fat content of every dish and throw as many vegetables in it as I can afford for $5 a man. The whole idea is to be able to enjoy retirement so the healthier we eat on the job, possibly the longer we can enjoy our retirement.  


Long Branch Fire DeptLong Branch Fire Department

Lt Tim Somers (right) is a 24-year member of the career fire service. He has been with the City of Long Branch Fire Department since 1995. FF Henry "Skip" Cioffi has been on the job with Long Branch since 2005. The two cook often for their brothers and enjoy a similar appreciation for good food. They are excited to share their love of cooking with everyone at this year's event.


New Brunswick Fire Department
Chef Ray Schaffer

Pictured are just a few members of the New Brunswick Fire Departments’ 2nd Platoon cooking team. As with most things associated with the fire service, positive results come not from individual effort but from a collaborative effort of many. Ray gets the ceremonial title of chef most of the time not so much for possessing superior cooking skills but mostly for being the biggest control freak of the bunch.


Plainfield Fire Dept. Plainfield Fire Department
Firefighter Jujuan Jones & Battalion Chief Charles Mills

Jujuan and Charles have been members of the Plainfield Fire Department for 23 & 29 years respectively. Jujuan (who Charles quickly admits is the more accomplished cook) has entered many cook-offs over the years having won or placed highly in most of them. As a team over the last 12 years, they have competed in an Annual contest given by a local sorority where they have won multiple times. They are hoping that same success will carry over to this competition as well.


South Orange Fire Department
Antonio Popola

Sous Chefs
Keith Scheper
Heston Anderson
Dave Klugel


I have been a Firefighter in South Orange for a little over two years.  I have had a passion for cooking ever since I could reach the stove.  Experimenting at home for friends and family has helped me become acquainted with all types of cuisine.  I enjoy preparing anything from Italian to Asian for the guys at the Firehouse; however my favorite cuisine to cook is French. 


Steve Rosati Trenton Fire Dept.Trenton Fire Department
Stephen Rosati

Stephen Rosati is a Firefighter in the city of Trenton for over 25 years with the last 12 years as a member of Rescue company 1 under the command and direction of fire Capt. Gus Tackacs. He started cooking and preparing food at a young age but didn't really get into it till joining the department some 25 years ago. he especially enjoys cooking for larger groups. He learned most of his recipes from his Grandmother and Mother who he still consults with today. With the help of his three sous chefs firefighters, Kevin Beyrouty, Paul Palombi, and Kim Stout they are sure to put out a dish that will be enjoyed by all.

 

 

These guys really know how to “put fire to good use”!