World Cares Center’s 12th annual Iron Skillet® Cook-Off was undoubtedly a tremendous success. Corporate sponsors, attendees and celebrity guests united on Monday, October 28th at Providence, NYC to memorialize the resilient spirit all those affected by disasters, particularly those who faced overwhelming adversity post-Superstorm Sandy. The signature competition, where 5 FDNY firehouse chefs faced off against 5 NYC restaurant chefs, was bursting with action and excitement.
The evening’s judges, Valerie Smaldone, John Sterling, Councilman Peter F. Vallone, Jr., Plaxico Burress, Thomas Huff, Stevie Brown, Melvyn Davis, Greg Mocker and Freeman McNeil ranked the 5 absolutely delectable recipes from the 10 competitors to announce this year’s winners.
Joe O’Rourke, hailing from the Bronx’s Engine 63 captivated the judges with his original creation of braised short ribs with a fig infused red wine reduction over polenta, to walk away as 1st place winner and Iron Skillet® Champion.
Commerce Restaurant’s Chef Carsten Johannsen’s mouthwatering version of O’Rourke’s recipe landed him the hard-earned honor of 2nd place. For the first time in twelve years, we saw a tie for 3rd place between Sal De Paola of Engine 160 in Staten Island and Joseph Chiodi of Engine 62 in Queens. Their recipes of pineapple lime rice with roasted asparagus and sausage and peppers with a twist, (respectively) were absolutely delectable.
The competition’s winners were not the only ones to go home with a special accolade. 7 Everyday Heroes were each presented with plaques, commemorating their tireless commitment to World Cares Center’s mission of empowering individuals through disaster response, training and coordination. AmeriCares, sponsored by Bank of America; New York City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, sponsored by Bressler, Amery & Ross; Carla Villa of Brooklyn Brewery, sponsored by Global Commercial Banking and WCC’s devoted volunteers, working in New Jersey, the Rockaways and Staten Island – Edward Fay, sponsored by General Tools; Nick Gomez, sponsored by JP Morgan Chase; Reggie Warren, sponsored by ACE ICNA; and Kevin Worthington, sponsored by Cumberland Packing Corp., have exemplified the importance of volunteerism through their unwavering support and dedication.
With a fiery competition, sponsorships from major corporate contributors and appearances from acclaimed celebrities, the 12th annual Iron Skillet® Cook-Off will be remembered as one of the year’s best events.
Check out detailed descriptions of the evening’s celebrity guests, the competition's winners and all participants below: