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Five-Alarm Chefs

This month, Local Flavor delves into the epicurean world of Indian River County firehouses where culinary prowess and a good meal go hand-in-hand.

Lieutenant Will Willmot's Cumin-Crusted Pork Tenderloin And Caramelized Apples - Purchase the December 2016 issue for the full recipe!

Lieutenant Will Willmot's Cumin-Crusted Pork Tenderloin And Caramelized Apples - Purchase the December 2016 issue for the full recipe!

We’ve all witnessed the scene. A juxtaposition of duty and domesticity as big, burly, firefighters wheel shopping carts around the supermarket, and a shiny red fire truck sits in the parking lot. “People give us a hard time for going to the grocery store,” says Lieutenant Rich Carter. “Some people think that the taxpayers are paying for our groceries. Well, no. We’re buying our own dinner,” he says. 

This month, Local Flavor delves into the epicurean world of Indian River County firehouses where culinary prowess and a good meal go hand-in-hand. These heroic men and women work 24-hour shifts every third day and may be summoned at any moment to do what they do best: save lives and keep our community safe. 

When not racing to emergencies, they train together, study together, and yes, shop and eat together. “I can’t tell you how many carts I’ve left at a grocery store because I got a call,” Lieutenant Carter says. “We had to bring the fire truck because if you need us, we’re all together and we can go,” he explains.

Carter is one of three lieutenants I talked to who knows his way around a kitchen and understands what it takes to fuel a first responder’s stamina, strength and speed. The quiet heroes of the station, firehouse chefs not only cook delicious meals but also acknowledge that breaking bread together forges a unique brotherhood, an undeniable component of collaboration and teamwork.