The mid-90-degrees weather on Thursday, July 14, was only matched by the heat emanating from the grills at the annual chef showdown at Atria on Roslyn Harbor, a luxury senior apartment community, where the facility’s staff went head-to-head with the East Meadow Volunteer Fire Department.
Though everyone was eager to try the food, those in attendance were also well aware of the significance of the event, cohosted by the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center, and its purpose, which was to honor local firefighters. The competition also sought to bring awareness to cooking and barbecuing safety.
“It’s a fun day with a bunch of firefighters who love to cook, and love to eat, and the nice thing is we all get to spend time with the residents here, talk to them and answer any questions they may have,” said John Murray, Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center chief instructor. Every year, we talk to many of the residents about safety things and any concerns they may have, but at the end of the day they get to eat some great food from our finest firefighters.
Both participating teams prepared an assortment of ribs, burgers and chicken, incorporating corn as the special secret ingredient of the day.
The East Meadow firefighters were hard at work for much of the afternoon, cooking burgers, chicken and their signature spare ribs, marinated in barbecue sauce prepared with citrus fruits, with a side of corn salad.
On the Atria side, Amanda Ciniglio, director of culinary services at Atria, expertly whipped up honey bourbon ribs, Mexican street corn with chipotle butter and queso fresco, pulled chicken sandwiches with apple bourbon barbecue sauce and corn salsa and burgers with queso fresco.
Aside from Atria’s residents who were on hand to sample the culinary creations, judges included Anton Media Group publisher Angela Anton, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Board President of the Nassau County Firefighters Museum Angelo Catalano and Executive Director of Atria on Roslyn Harbor Allison Miller.
After careful deliberation, the winners of both the judge’s choice category and people’s choice category were announced. The East Meadow Fire Department won over the hearts, and tastebuds, of the judges, while the Atria team fared best among the residents.