CLARK, NJ – Preparations by the Clark Police and Fire Departments are underway ahead of the upcoming “Clark PD vs Clark FD BBQ Cook-Off.” The cookoff, which will feature members of both departments facing off in a cooking competition, is scheduled for Saturday, July 28 at the Clark Recreation Center.

Friendly rivalry between the two departments began with a post on the Clark Police Department’s Facebook page. “The Clark PD would like to apologize in advance to The Clark FD for the Cooking Beatdown they’re about to receive,” the post read in part.

“We were laughing when we saw that, because we’re going to win,” Fire Chief Frank Cerasa said in response. Cerasa, who expects about a dozen firefighters to participate, told TAPinto Clark that preparations for the contest are already underway at the Fire Department. “We’re doing a little pre-cook this Sunday here,” Cerasa said. “We have certain guys assigned to certain meals.”

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“There’s no shame in coming in second place when you’re competing against us,” replied Police Captain Vincent Concina, who estimates that about a half-dozen officers will compete alongside him. Though Concina expects that the Fire Department will have more members competing, he does not see this as an advantage. Instead, Concina believes that a smaller team would be more advantageous, whereas a larger team may run into the problems of having too many cooks in the kitchen.

Despite their rivalry, both departments have a mutual respect for one another and agree that the event will be fun and exciting for the community. “We have a great relationship with the Fire Department, and we all agreed it would be fun to do this,” Concina told TAPinto Clark.

“It’s a good event, the guys are very excited about doing it,” added Cerasa. “We get along excellently with the Police Department, so we want to make it work out well.”

The two departments initially met a few weeks ago to discuss the idea after being approached by the ShopRite of Clark, which is sponsoring the event. The event’s proceeds will benefit ShopRite’s Veterans Campaign.

Tickets to the BBQ Cookoff, which will be available for purchase at the event, will cost $15 per person or $40 for a family of four. Additional details about the event can be found here.