The competition was definitely heated.
Borough firefighters threw down and put their grill skills to the test at a cook-off on Red Hook’s waterfront Wednesday.
Smoke eaters from four borough firehouses in Red Hook and Brooklyn Heights squared off behind Fairway Market for the title of top tong handler at the market’s third annual barbecue challenge.
The teams of Brooklyn’s Bravest grilled up their best burgers, beef and pork ribs, and chicken for the competition. Brooklyn Heights’ Engine 224 snagged top prize.
“It was a team effort,” said 13-year firefighter John Cialino, who prepped the meats for the winning team. “We work very well together from working at the firehouse.”
A panel of judges, including Borough President Markowitz, tasted all the grub, which was donated by the mega-grocery store.
“This time, it was the firefighters themselves who were on fire, cooking and dishing out some of the juiciest burgers, zestiest chicken, and tastiest ribs ever for the judges and the hundreds of shoppers who stopped by for the food face-off,” said Fairway’s head of marketing Jacqueline Donovan.
The judges based their decision on taste, originality, and the use of preserved lemons – the secret ingredient that had to be incorporated into the burgers and was announced just as the grilling got underway.
The victorious Brooklyn Heights meat masters came away with a gigantic trophy and a $500 Fairway gift card to stock their Hicks Street firehouse with prime cuts. A quarter of the supermarket’s proceeds for the day will go to a charity of the team’s choice. The winners decided to split the donation between Friends of Firefighters and the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation.
Attendees got to sample the firefighters’ creations and listen to patriotic jams by the American Bombshells.Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@