Firehouse Chefs Corner: Welcome to the Firehouse Chefs Corner

L et me welcome all of you to the Firehouse Chefs Corner. As a career firefighter and a trained chef, I envisioned the concept for Firehouse Chefs 20 years ago. Firehouse Chefs is comprised of a gourmet food truck in Los Angeles, a catering business, a spice and food product label, a fitness/wellness division and a media division that includes a TV show concept. The premise is to show the community we serve the lighter side of what we do across the country through our meals and kitchen table time.

Today’s diverse workforce has created an interesting dynamic in firehouse kitchens by exposing firefighters to new dishes and customs. It is easy to see the benefit as we broaden our horizons and learn more about our fellow firefighters and ultimately about the public we serve.

Please join us as we share recipes, firehouse kitchen history, nutrition, wellness/fitness tips and the camaraderie that needs to stay alive in our firehouse kitchens. Our team encourages you to share your recipes and crew pictures for inclusion in future columns. We will provide fresh content and useful kitchen tips that are sure to aid the rookie firefighter to the senior “jake.” Contact me at firehousechefs@yahoo.com.

Making better choices

As a fire captain, chef and a certified personal trainer, I feel that I have an obligation to help promote better food and nutrition choices to firefighters. I also believe in moderation and that it is OK to partake in eating some comfort food now and then.

Balance is the key to an overall healthy lifestyle and as long as you are eating healthy food options on a daily basis, it is OK to have that occasional burger. Firehouse Chefs Corner will strive to be a resource to firefighters and show how to use fruits, vegetables and other crucial foods in recipes. The fire service is not immune to the rising heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Firefighters need to hear choices and also relevant information that they can process and incorporate in their daily routines. Firehouse Chefs Corner will introduce new food choices, products and features.

What would the fire service be without a little healthy competition just to see what’s cooking from East to West and North to South? We will strive to keep you informed about healthy food choices, nutritional information, various workouts and overall lifestyle changes that will benefit all of us and reduce our already high risk in several disease and injury categories.

In this month’s column, I share my recipe for carne asada tortas. Tortas are Mexican sandwiches made with beef, chicken, pork, seafood or even veggies as the filler. Tortas are very popular in firehouses across the Southwest and beyond. This will be a delicious, albeit messy addition to your firehouse kitchen’s recipe box.

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