Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Read about our write-up in the San Antonio Express News

Jeanne Jakle : San Antonio Express News &

We all know San Antonio firefighters can take the heat in emergency situations, but a local producer is out to discover which ones can take it in culinary situations.

Jason Meredith, a former Leon Springs volunteer firefighter and technology specialist for San Antonio AirLIFE, is developing a "Top Chef"-style TV show with firefighters.

"It's called 'The Firehouse Cook-off,' a cooking show that features firefighters competing for a $10,000 cash prize and a cookbook publishing deal," Meredith said. The show will consist of 12 to 15 competitors battling in team and individual challenges. Making this show different? "I want to also help the community by shooting challenges at locations where they will do some good — the Center for the Intrepid, a homeless shelter, an elementary school."

Meredith said he has investors in place and has spoken to local chefs about being judges, but to move forward, he needs the most important ingredient: skilled contestants. "We are currently accepting audition videos (3-to-5 minutes long) on our Web site, Any firefighter interested needs to shoot a short video on why we should pick him or her."

He came up with the idea while deployed with a regional rescue team to New Orleans to help Hurricane Katrina victims. "I wanted a fun way to shine the spotlight on these everyday heroes," he said, adding he loves food and cooking "and it occurred to me that everyone knows firefighters can cook so why not have a show with them cooking meals that anyone can make at home?"

Delicious idea! Not long ago, I was fortunate to receive a firehouse recipe book made up of dishes from firefighters from around the country. It was published in conjunction with the Hallmark Channel movie "For the Love of Grace," and I'm telling you, it's one of the cookbooks I use the most.

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