Park Ridge Fire Department is now the proud owner of a magnificent trophy, a $500 gift card to Fairway Market and bragging rights – for the second time - as the winning team in the Second Annual Fairway Firefighters Food Face-Off held on Sunday, June 17, 2012, in the parking lot of the Paramus store. The team will also receive a Fairway Market shopping night in which a portion of all proceeds will go to the Mary Therese Rose Fund –the charity of their choice.
Watched and cheered on by a huge crowd, which got to also enjoy samples of food from the competing teams and from many Fairway Market vendors, Park Ridge competed in a grilling “throw down” against Ridgewood Fire Department and West Paterson Fire Department, to see whose ribs, burgers and vegetable skewers were best.
According to the judges - Mel Fabrikant and Tina Apprich of the Paramus Post, Fairway’s own Master Butcher Ray Venezia and Terry Krongold of The Cook’s Tour -the teams all served up ‘fantastic barbeque” and the contest was “very close.” They based their decision on taste, originality and the use of poblano peppers- the secret ingredient that had to be incorporated into the burgers and was announced just as the grilling got underway.
Park Ridge Firefighter Mark Eisen – also known as ‘Cookey’ for his many years as a cook in the Navy, said his team loves to get together and work hard for charity.
“We think what Fairway does is great for several reasons,” said Eisen. “ First they bring fire departments together that normally never get to meet, then they bring the public together to meet us and ask questions they normally never would, but most of all they do a great service for local charities.”
The other two firehouses each won a $100 gift card to the store to use for supplies for their firehouses.
Fairway has a long-standing commitment to firefighters. Its history of supporting fire departments in New York and New Jersey was exemplified in the months following September 11, 2001, when Fairway supplied food for local firehouses throughout the search and clean-up process. Fairway also offers firefighters in uniform a special shopping discount at each of its ten locations to show its appreciation.