The Daily News 5-Alarm Cook-off!
After a citywide search to find the best firefighter cooks in New York, The Daily News chose the top chefs from each borough to go head to head in Rachael's kitchen in the 2nd Annual 5-Alarm Cookoff!
Meet the contestants:
Robert Painter from Engine 63 says that he learned how to cook from his mom, and explains that before he joined the firehouse, the guys were mainly meat and potatoes men. "Once I got comfortable," he relates, "I started throwing new things at them, and slowly but surely I've converted a lot of them." Robert's recipe for the cookoff is Coconut Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with a Sweet Plantain Compote. "I think creativity-wise I have it by a long shot!"
"I'm extremely competitive," admits returning contender John Sierp from Ladder 169. "I need redemption because I didn't win last year!" This year he hopes to take the championship with his Pan-Seared Trout with Olive "Tapenade" Over Israeli Cous Cous.
Chris White from Engine 328 says that introducing healthy cooking to his firehouse has been a challenge, but meals like his Crab Cakes with Chipotle Mayo are starting to win over his fellow firefighters ... but will it win over the judges?
Thomas J. Cavallo, Jr. from Engine 166 has a leg up on his competitors - he went to cooking school! "It just helps to know a little technique," he says. "That gives you a little bit of an edge." Thomas will be cooking one of his firehouse's favorites, Boursin Tilapia and Shrimp.
Like Thomas from Staten Island, Scott Worontzoff from Engine 58 has a background in the culinary arts (15 years as a chef), and offers a bit of trash talk to his fellow competitors. "They're all doing fish dishes," he says. "They're not really firehouse meals!" Scott is whipping up his Three-Layer Shredded Chicken Torte: "It's the quintessential firehouse meal!"
Since the men have already been chosen as the top chefs from their respective boroughs, Rachael gives them all her pots and pans, cookware, moppines, knives, utensils ... everything they need to outfit their firehouse kitchens. But there can be only one 5-Alarm Cookoff champ, who will also receive $5,000 courtesy of the Municipal Credit Union of New York, a $2,500 gift card to Key Food, and for the firehouse, a GE Cafe range, refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave courtesy of P.C. Richard & Son!
Rachael knows better than to get in the middle of a firefighter battle, so she brings in the big guns to make the final call: chefs Rocco DiSpirito, Marcela Valladolid and Marc Forgione! After careful judging, the winner of the 2nd Annual New York Daily News 5-Alarm Cookoff is ...
Scott from Manhattan!
Also on this show
- Chicken and Poblano Soup
- Thomas Cavallo's Boursin Tilapia and Shrimp
- Robert Painter's Coconut Crusted Chilean Sea Bass With Sweet Plantain Compote
- John Sierp's Pan-seared Trout with Olive "Tapenade" over Israeli Cous Cous
- Scott Worontzoff's Three Layer Shredded Chicken Torte
- Chris White's Crab Cakes with Chipolte Mayo
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