Fire Up the Grill and Meet Chef Joe
TB Reporter is thrilled to welcome our newest columnist – Chef Joseph T. Bonanno Jr.
He’s known to most as America’s Greatest Firehouse Chef, but we know him as Chef Joe. His first column will run this Saturday (May 28), just in time for those Memorial Day cookouts. So get your shopping list ready to try out (and to enjoy) his “Red Devil Chicken.” You’ll have a truly memorable and yummy Memorial Day. Now for a bit about Chef Joe.
Chef Joe became interested in cooking while preparing meals for his fellow firefighters at the New York City Fire Department. During his 21-plus years as a New York City firefighter, Chef Joe became certified as a nutritionist and fitness trainer with the American Council on Exercise, the International Sports Medicine Association, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and New York University. He used his skills in the kitchen to develop a collection of “healthy” meals for the firefighters he worked with. Those recipes were later published in his cookbook The Healthy Firehouse Cookbook: Low-Fat Recipes from America’s Firefighters. He has published two more books since then, The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook, which features 150 recipes cooked on the grill, and a children’s book, Monutza, the Firefighting Elephant.
Chef Joe has successfully competed in numerous culinary competitions with other firefighters. Among his wins: the Firefighters Combat Challenge, the FDNY Bake Off, the McIlleheny Tabasco Sauce Cook and Ladder Contest, the International Firefighter Olympic Culinary Division, and the Florida State Iron Chef Competition where he went up against some of Florida’s top chefs.
After leaving the fire service, Chef Joe graduated with honors from the Culinary Academy of Long Island (NY) and completed internships at two of Long Island’s finest restaurants, Goccia D’Oro (northern Italian cuisine) and the Argyle (Continental Cuisine). Chef Joe is a culinary instructor at A La Carte Culinary in Lynbrook, NY.
Chef Joe has done cooking demonstrations on several television programs including ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Show, the Martha Stewart Show, and shows on the Food Network. He has also done on-air and in-store appearances as a spokesperson for brands including Butterball Turkey, Ronzoni Pasta, Johnson and Johnson, Sorrento Cheese, Celebrity Cruise Lines, USA Rice Council, U.S. Canola Oil, Macy’s, KitchenAid, and many more.
Chef Joe has completed his first season of American Firehouse Cuisine, which aired in the NY, NJ, CT area and can be seen archived on YouTube at American Firehouse Cuisine. He also airs a local radio call in show called the Healthy Firehouse on WTAN-AM 1340 in Clearwater. Chef Joe was also an active participant in the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero after 9/11 and subsequently raised more than $70,000 for widows and children of 9/11.
For more about Chef Joe, his videos and books, go to chefbonanno.com.
Food | Recipes | Chef Joseph Bonanno | Firehouse Cuisine | Fire Department of New York | TB Reporter
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