EDISON, NJ – It was the lamb chops that earned Union firefighters a first place win for the People’s Choice Award at the 8th Annual Cooked and Uncorked Food and Wine Festival at the Pines Manor in Edison Monday evening.

Twenty five New Jersey fire departments showed up ready to compete and show off their cooking talents with the hopes of bringing home the first place trophy at the annual event.

Union Battalion Chief Henry Sisbarro, Captain Thomas Holder, Lieutenant Michael Davitt and firefighter Gunther Guerra took first place in the People’s Choice category with their spinach and mixed green salad, mint apple chutney and lamb chops.

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“I am very proud of these guys,” said Union Fire Chief Michael Scanio.  “The Union Fire Department has put a team in this competition every year since it began. The event helps support the Saint Barnabas Burn Center which is very important to us as firefighters.”

Attendees got to sample culinary offerings from 25 fire departments and more than 40 of the area’s finest restaurants, caterers, and dessert shops as well as wines and spirits from distributors throughout the region.

“This is the FMBA’s major fundraiser to benefit Saint Barnabas,” said Sisbarro.  “People look forward to coming to the event every year.”  Sisbarro said Union took second place in the People’s Choice category last year and third place in the category the year before.

“We are happy to be part of this great event,” said Sisbarro, “and we look forward to defending our title next year.”

“I do have some bias,” continued Scanio, “but I must say their grilled lamb chops with apple chutney was delicious, and obviously a lot of other people thought the same.”