Box 5555 – The Greater Boston Food Bank

26 Jan
Fire Alarm Operations had an “All Meat” chili

What an amazing night of food, fun and good will!  I had the chance to spend this evening at the Four Seasons in downtown Boston, at the 1st Annual Boston Fire Department Chili Cook Off to benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank.  There were some amazing culinary skills on display this evening, but more importantly the feeling of community combined with a casual competitive atmosphere provided a delightful night for all who attended.

Catherine D'Amato, President and CEO of GBFB

Catherine D’Amato, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank was on hand to thank all in attendance and to remind them of the importance of their individual contributions, and to acknowledge the daily contribution that members of the Boston Fire Department make to the city every day.  The Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and one of the largest food banks in the country, distributing more than 34 million pounds of food and grocery products annually to a network of nearly 600 member hunger-relief agencies.

An enthusiastic supporter of the GBFB and the BFD

All Out Chili from E52 & L29

Among the 13 different companies that were competing for this First Annual Prize, the recipes were varied and elaborate.  Many chose to include not only chili but condiments including onions, scallions, cheese and Engine 29, Ladder 11 & District 11 even supplied a nice crisp cracker to go with their chili.

Ralph Dowling of Fire Alarm Operations coming out of the kitchen

Turn Out Gear 'cause the Chili was HOT

The night was interrupted on occasion, in traditional firehouse fashion, by a clanging bell and a special signal from local funny man Lenny Clarke, as various items were auctioned off to benefit the GBFB.  Through out there was a silent auction that quietly carried on.  After sampling 13 different chili’s and the wonderful passed hors d’œuvres provided by the folks at the Four Seasons, under the direction of Executive Chef Brooke Vosika, clear winners appeared.

Multiple alarms were struck for this chili

Engine 53 wanted to make sure you remembered them

In the end, Engine 24 and Ladder 23 from Grove Hall in Dorchester were awarded the coveted trophy, which included a Hormel can and a plastic firefighters helmet.  In the near future I hope to stop by Grove Hall and get the recipe for this awarding winning dish, and because I used to work in the neighborhood I know exactly where the house can be found.

Winner, Winner, Chili Dinner! Chef Brooke of the 4 Seasons with Dennis Carr on the left and Tom Quinn on the right, bot are from Ladder 23

Winner, Winner, Chili Dinner! Dennis Carr of ladder 23, Billy Costa, Lenny Clarke and Tom Quinn also on Ladder 23 celebrate the victory for Grove Hall.

I want to thank BFD’s Public Information Officer Steve MacDonald for his never ending support, and especially thank all the great fire fighters from the city of Boston who I’ve friended over the years.  I’ve had the privilege of sharing many meals in a number of different firehouses through out the city, and they remain some of the best meals I’ve ever had.

Thanks so much to Billy Noonan, Boston Fire Department Photographer and District Chief  William Meyer for their help and friendship.  Congrats Chief Meyers on your retirement!

Last but not least, thanks to Treat Cupcake Bar for sharing the love on the way out.  Nothing like a great cupcake to sooth the taste buds after multiple alarm chili all night.

Remember, Food is Love!




4 Responses to “Box 5555 – The Greater Boston Food Bank”

  1. Tania deLuzuriaga January 26, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Lovely pics! Which one did you like best?

    • Justin Ide January 26, 2011 at 11:03 am #

      I liked FAO’s all meat chili the best and group 2’s chili which had Italian sausage in it!

    • Erik January 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

      Blue Hill Ave. “All out chili”. Not too hot to enjoy but just hot enough to let you know that it is a fantastic chili. Good job guys.

  2. Mel January 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    The daughter of a firefighter, I know the love they have for hot food! Really enjoyed reading that!

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