Firefighters show off cooking skills

March 29, 2011 • Local News

City of Roswell firefighters cooked a meal for Roswell High School students Monday, as part of the school’s first annual cooking competition with the Roswell Fire Department. (Matt Arco Photo)

City of Roswell firefighters exchanged their helmets and oxygen tanks for spatulas and oven mitts at Roswell High School Monday, during a program meant to bolster the school’s culinary arts education. Roswell Fire Department officials took part in the school’s inaugural RFD Turns Up the Heat at RHS event Monday, the first day of a three-day cooking [auth] event.

Teams of two shifts and one team comprised of the department’s commanders are in a competition to see who can cook the best meal. Each of the three teams will cook their favorite dish for the students to judge and find a winner. The other cooking dates are slated for Friday and April 11.

As for Monday’s dish, the judges were served Swedish meatballs and garlic mashed potatoes.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Christopher Lobato, a junior at RHS and one of the about 20 culinary arts students. “It’s a change (from regular class).” The event was inspired by the school’s culinary arts teacher, Mary Dunbar, who said she hoped the students would get more out of the program.

“It’s a fun way to get the students involved a little more in culinary and its various careers,” Dunbar said. “We’re hoping it will be an annual event.” Firefighter officials said they were delighted to take part in the event and hoped the students could learn something from the cook-off.

“It’s so the kids will know it’s important to know how to cook,” said Chad Hamill, deputy fire chief. “We have guys who are dedicated to the community,” he said, adding that the firefighters paid from out of pocket for the cost of the food they served. “That’s what firemen do.” The last cooking day will feature the team of commanders. Hamill was scant on details of what the meal will be consist of, but said with a smile, “I think the administration will probably win pretty handedly.”

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