Food & Drink

South Orange and Maplewood Fire Departments Show Off Cooking Skills, Raise Funds for Saint Barnabas Burn Center

South Orange Local 24 were the “gourmet category” winners with a duck confit stuffed ravioli with bacon and English pea puree. Credits: John Hund, NJFMBA
Maplewood FMBA Local 25 won first place in the "Firehouse" category for their mushroom bacon risotto with cajun shrimp and lamb chops. Credits: John Hund, NJFMBA
South Orange Local 24 were the “gourmet category” winners with a duck confit stuffed ravioli with bacon and English pea puree. Credits: John Hund, NJFMBA
Maplewood FMBA Local 25 won first place in the "Firehouse" category for their mushroom bacon risotto with cajun shrimp and lamb chops.
South Orange Local 24 were the “gourmet category” winners with a duck confit stuffed ravioli with bacon and English pea puree.
Paterson FMBA Local 2 firefighter Michael Oates prepares plates for the more than 1,000 guests that attended the NJ FMBA Cooked and Uncorked Food and Wine Festival Credits: All Photos By Steve Lenox
FMBA Local 2's dish was served with "The Hamilton" in homage to Paterson's original forefather. Credits: All Photos By Steve Lenox
Paterson Firefighter Michael Oates presents Paterson FMBA Local 2's smoked baby back bbq sandwich to the judges. Credits: All Photos By Steve Lenox
Paterson FMBA Local 2 took home medals for third place in the "firehouse" category. Pictured with Dr. Robin Lee of the Saint Barnabas Burn Center. Credits: All Photos By Steve Lenox

EDISON, NJ - Edison’s Pines Manor was transformed into a firehouse kitchen on Monday, Feb. 26, as teams from 24 professional fire departments across New Jersey showed off their cooking skills at the NJ FMBA’s eighth annual Cooked and Uncorked Food and Wine Festival.

The event, which raised over $50,000 that will be split between the Saint Barnabas Burn Center and the NJ FMBA Foundation, was attended by more than 1,000 guests that were treated to an array of foods, drinks and other goodies.

According to Eddie Donnelly, the president of the 5,000 member union that represents firefighters, EMTs and dispatchers, the annual event “is a special way for our members to connect with each other, show off their talents, and raise money for some very important causes.”

Sign Up for E-News

“The Saint Barnabas Burn Center and the other organizations this event supports share the commitment our members have to serving New Jersey residents, often at their most difficult times, and we are proud to partner with them all,” Donnelly continued.

While several well-known New Jersey restaurants and drinks distributors also showed off their specialties it was dishes prepared by firefighters in three categories: firehouse, gourmet, and dessert, that were in highest demand.

Judges, including NJ 101.5 radio personality Bill Spadea and former New York Giants Bart Oates and David Diehl, took turns sampling the dishes before assigning them scores that would ultimately determine the winner in each of the three categories.

Proving their cooking mettle, and plating hundreds of servings of mushroom bacon risotto with cajun shrimp and lamb chops, the team from Maplewood FMBA Local 25 took the trophy in the “firehouse category” while their neighbors from South Orange Local 24 were the “gourmet category” winners with a duck confit stuffed ravioli with bacon and English pea puree.

For those in attendance that weren’t counting calories a third category was added to this year’s festivities with Rahway FMBA Local 33 delivering a no bake chocolate cheesecake accompanied by a chocolate martini, enough to win recognition as the best dessert of the night.

Calling his teammates, and the men and women he serves with on the Paterson Fire Department, “brothers and sisters,” Sean Duffy told TAPinto Paterson that “when there’s downtime in a firehouse it’s often spent around the kitchen.” Those who serve in the fire service rely on each other, Duffy said, making the time they share a meal together important “family time.”

As the two-time returning champions, the Paterson FMBA Local 2 team, led by firefighter Jason Macones, served up a smoked baby back rib sandwich with a baked bean bourbon spread and topped with bacon jam and pickled onion, a creation he perfected for a recent Super Bowl party. While the creation won the rave reviews of judges and guests alike the team, serving their meal with a concoction they called “The Hamilton” in homage to Paterson’s earliest forefather, had to settle with third place but vowed to be back next year ready to return to their winning ways.

The final, and perhaps most coveted, award of the night, the “People’s Choice” award, voted on by attendees, went to Union FMBA Local 46 and their Australian lamb chops topped with mint apple chutney and served alongside a spinach and mixed green salad.

As the event drew to a close and guests filed out the doors a question came from retired Nutley firefighter John Hundin reference to the delicacies he had just sampled, “how do they top these dishes next year?”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Spring is (Almost) Here

Get ready for farmers markets and outdoor events, spring is bound to come at some point! To help you get ready Sadie's has lots of new spring products including this great Market Tote by Feed- the purchase of this cute everyday bag will donate 50 school meals. While stopping in for this tote check out some of the other great spring items just in. Don't forget the charity of the month is ...

Feeling Lucky

Shop of the morning to you! It’s that time of year when everyone’s color is green! Stop by Sadie's to get your St. Patty’s shirt before the big day. While your here and feeling lucky check out our latest Spring styles for Men and Women. You may make your friends green with envy.

Horoscope: Have a birthday between 3/13 and 3/24? If you stumble into a ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


South Orange Police Blotter - Adult Arrests for Shoplifting and DWI Reported

March 16, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of March 16

Adult Arrest/Shoplifting - William Minitee, a 45 year old Irvington resident was arrested on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 12:40 p.m. for shoplifting. Security officers at the Stop & Shop on Valley Street observed Minitee conceal several items on his person and then flee the store without paying for the items. Officers stopped a subject ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Home Burglary, Burglary at DeHart Community Center Reported

March 4 - Burglary; At approximately 1:20 a.m., officers observed a male removing several items from inside DeHart Community Center. The male was identified as 22 year old Joe Carr of Irvington. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

March 6 - Burglary; At approximately 11:30 a.m., officers responded to a home on Broadview Avenue on a report of a ...

Maplewood Spring Egg Hunt is on as Scheduled this Sunday, March 25

March 23, 2018

Updated at 10 p.m. on March 23

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Despite the recent snow, Maplewood's Spring Egg Hunt is on as scheduled this Sunday, March 25, from noon to 2 p.m. in Memorial Park.

"Bring your rain boots [it’s pretty mushy out there] and a basket or bag," stated an email from the Maplewood Recreation Department, which also advised arriving on time as the egg hunt ...

Maplewood Senior Center Holds Grand Opening on St. Patrick's Day

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Senior Center has been open on Burnett Avenue for several months and this past Saturday, Maplewood Township officials, many seniors and community members held a grand opening celebration with a ribbon cutting officially dedicating the center.

As Saturday was the St. Patrick's Day holiday, the Senior Center celebration included green bagels ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Sat, March 24, 7:30 PM

Livingston High School, Livingston

Livingston Symphony Orchestra: "Water. water.

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 25, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Wed, March 28, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality

Hundreds Cheer on Marchers and Bands at 67th West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Even a week’s delay caused by a massive snowstorm couldn’t dampen the spirits of the large crowd of spectators who cheered on the marchers and bands who participated in West Orange’s 67th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday.

Wending their way up Main Street were more than 25 bands, including marching bands from northern New Jersey high ...

Members of Brick City Brims Charged for Alleged Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization

NEWARK, NJ – Six members of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang were arrested last week for their alleged roles in a major drug trafficking organization that dealt heroin in and around Newark.

Tyrone Brown, 34, Lamarr Burwell, 22, and Miles McCloud, 37, all of Newark, and Martin Pettiford, 23, of Irvington, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to ...

Over 10,000 People Chant 'Enough is Enough' during Saturday's March for Our Lives Morristown

March 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The chant “enough is enough” could be heard across Morristown as over 10,000 people participated in the “March For Our Lives Morristown” walk on Saturday March 24. Organized by Bella Bhimani, a sophomore at West Morris Mendham High School, the walk was a non-partisan, student-led march against gun violence.

The Morristown March For ...

Renovation Complete, Winberie's Restaurant Reopens

SUMMIT, NJ - After a more than two months-long renovation -- an initiative which focused on updating the entire dining room, revamping the floor plan, and expanding the bar -- Winberie’s Restaurant & Bar has reopened in Summit.

The restaurant had been closed since New Year's Eve.

“Our guests will immediately see the physical changes we’ve made ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - March 23 to March 29

March 23, 2018

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Potato Salad $3.99lb (Prep Food)
Moliterno w/ Black Truffle $19.99lb (Cheese)
Mochi Ice Cream 12floz $5.99
Jumbo Cooked Shrimp $17.99lb (Ashley Fish Market)
Asparagus $3.99lb
Chairman’s Reserve Boneless Sirloin Steak ...

Maplewood, South Orange Students to Join March for Our Lives: Rallies on Saturday at Maplewood and South Orange Train Stations

Student organizers from Maplewood and South Orange have come together with community leaders and SOMA Action in Maplewood and South Orange to rally in support of gun violence prevention on Saturday, March 24. The rallies are part of the worldwide March for Our Lives movement.

“We stand with and support victims of gun violence and mass shootings. We hope by speaking out and ...

Staff, Members at Metro YMCA’s 7 Branches Raise $788K In First Six Weeks of Annual Campaign

In just six weeks, staff and members at the seven Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges branches raised 70 percent of the organization’s $1,125,000 annual campaign goal.

“This achievement is a testament to our staff and members’ commitment to their communities through our mission of promoting healthy living, youth development and social responsibility,” Metropolitan YMCA of ...