Iron Skillet Cookoff

by in View All Posts, November 4th, 2008

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Last night, I had the privilege of attending the 7th annual World Cares Center’s Iron Skillet Cook Off, thanks to my awesome cousin, who invited me to the event. It was a meeting between renowned restaurant chefs and FDNY firefighters, battling for the first place title in the Iron Skillet Cook Off.

Besides their devilish good looks, these hardworking firefighters also had really sophisticated food. I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation and execution of their dishes. Now I want to become a firefighter so I can enjoy meals like that every day!

Click through for winners, dishes, and more pictures:

The firefighters were pitted against chefs from NYC restaurants, who were asked to create their own take on the firefighters’ dishes. The roster included:

Ladder 33, Bronx – Firehouse Chef James Lowe

JLO Pinwheels: Flank Steak with bacon, mozzarella and portobello mushrooms (paired with Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Brown Ale) vs. Primehouse New York Chef Brian O’Donahue

Special Operations Command, Queens – Firehouse Chef Paul Rut

Candy Apple Chicken with Julienne Vegetables and Corn Cake (paired with Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Oktoberfest) vs. Amarone Ristorante Chef Paolo Apicella

Engine 153, Ladder 77, Staten Island – Firehouse Chef John Welborn

Salmon Wellington (paired with Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Local 1) vs. Ammos Chef David Ogren

Engine 3, Ladder 12, Brooklyn – Firehouse Chef Sky Shepard

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter (paired with Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Winter Ale) vs. Campo Chef David Rotter

Engine 8, Ladder 2, Manhattan – Firehouse Chef Jeff Wallen

Mirin Glazed Filet Mignon with Wasabi Mayonnaise (paired with Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Brown Ale) vs. Roy’s of New York Chef Mark Arnao

The event kicked off at 6:30 and lines quickly started forming. The beer, wine and champagne kept flowing as people kept eating for a good cause. While awaiting results from the judges, raffle tickets were drawn and auctions were held. The overwhelming generosity that was felt in the room caused more people to donate special gifts (like Giants tickets with after-game privilege passes and Devils tickets) than the event coordinators ever expected.

And the winners were…

1st place:

Ladder 33, Bronx: James Lowe with the Flank steak Pinwheels

2nd place:

Engine 8, Ladder 2, Manhattan: Jeff Wallen with the Mirin Glazed Filet Mignon with Wasabi Mayonnaise

3rd place:

Campo Chef David Rotter with his take on ravioli

It was a real pleasure attending such a wonderful event for such a great cause supporting our nation’s finest and people in need. And the food wasn’t so bad either! I am looking forward to next year’s event and hope to get more involved with the organization.

World Cares Center’s mission is to foster safe and effective disaster preparedness, response, and resiliency within communities. World Cares Center was founded on the volunteer spirit that swept New York City during the 9/11 relief efforts, and today it represents a continuation of that compassionate character and fortitude. Check out the event website for more information!

Danielle LaRosa, Assistant Culinary Producer

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