Earlier this morning, the National Hurricane Center advised that Hurricane Sandy was moving toward the Northeast slowly, but could head up the East Coast this weekend. Maximum sustained winds are near 80 MPH with higher gusts. Sandy is currently a category one hurricane and could weaken or strengthen as it travels eastward. Wind and rainfall are two of the biggest hazards from Hurricane Sandy. The combination, along with the possibility of storm surges (an offshore rise of water caused by a tropical cyclone) could cause huge flooding issues. Officials are watching the Hurricane’s path closely as the storm could intensify as it meets cold air from the Midwest. This has the potential to create flooding in record amounts for the Tri-State region.
World Cares Center is conducting two training sessions today to help ready volunteers and advise relief agencies on affiliated and spontaneous volunteer coordination. In addition to training for volunteers, WCC wants to help you prepare for the impact of the storm:
- Create individual and family preparedness plans and practice them with your family members
- Make sure you have these four essentials: An ICE (In Case of Emergency) card, a call tree, an evacuation plan, and a Go Bag.
- The call tree should have all the phone numbers of family and friends that you may need to contact during an emergency
The Go Bag should be waterproof and should have the following: important papers (Photo ID, proof of address), extra set of house keys/car keys, cash, ATM card, quarters for pay phone, bottled water and snacks such as granola bars, first-aid kit, flashlight and whistle, list of medications for every family member and prescriptions, a radio with batteries or hand-cranked radio, phone number of at least one contact not in your area, map of your city/region, and warm clothes
Continue to check on evacuation information by using these information resources: NJ211, NY311, www.ready.gov/hurricanes, and the NJ OEM website (www.ready.nj.gov). Follow World Cares Center on Twitter and Facebook, and locate the nearest shelter. In the event of an evacuation, make sure your family has a plan or you know your building’s evacuation plan. Make sure you:
- Have a floor plan of your home
- Locate exits for each room and make sure windows open easily.
- Have more than one route to leave each room.
- Have a plan for who will assist those with special needs or limited mobility
- Determine a contact outside your area that will check in with you if an evacuation order is placed.
- Have a pre-determined meeting place for friends and family.
- Have a plan for how you will access information once you have evacuated.
Once you have prepared yourself and your family and feel secure, consider helping your neighbors, especially the elderly and persons with special needs who may really need your helping hand.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional updates.
Khalid Baylor, named the Iron Skillet® Champion on Monday, October 22, 2012 at our 11th annual Iron Skillet® Cook Off, had guests elbowing each other out of the way to get a taste of his delectable fried chicken. Chef Baylor says it best when describing his approach to great cooking, “to prepare food is good, but to cook from the heart is better.” We know the simple act of eating nourishes our body, but taste evokes our spirit, and Chef Baylor’s Lemongrass Fried Chicken with Sweet Potato Waffles and a Peach Schnapps Compote was proof of that.
Hailing from Ladder 14 in Manhattan, Chef Baylor’s cooking roots run deep – having shared a kitchen with his mom and grandma to make southern-inspired desserts before joining the fire department. Over 500 guests packed Crimson on Monday night to get a taste of the dishes of five firehouse chefs and five restaurant chefs who battled it out. The firefighters supplied the original recipe and the restaurant chefs had to reinvent it and try to make it better. As the night progressed, it seemed the firehouse chefs had the winning combination of food + love. Pete Lazarcheck, a firefighter from Engine 291 in Queens took home second place with his Skirt Steak with Burgundy Cream Sauce. Pete’s restaurant competitor, Matt Gibson from Legends Hospitality at Yankee Stadium, took third place for his rendition of the skirt steak dish.
There was boasting, there was competitive banter, but in the end, the night was a great big celebration of the heroes of the emergency response community where firefighters and ready responders did what they do best – step up to the plate to help out wherever and whenever needed. At the event, the competitors helped support World Cares Center’s continuing mission to bring quality, proactive training to emergency managers, community leaders, and volunteers. They helped by serving up meals with flavor, style, and a mean side sauce! In the end, it was sweet success for the baker-turned-firefighter. Congratulations to Khalid Baylor, Pete Lazarcheck, and Matt Gibson for top honors at the Iron Skillet® Cook Off!
During an emergency or disaster situation there is very little time to stop, plan, and prepare for your response. You respond quickly, and you hope effectively, as you rely on what you know in that moment about emergency response. All too often, volunteers, local leaders, and neighbors aren’t coordinated effectively or don’t know how to get in touch with relief organizations that can help them. Training in emergency planning, disaster preparedness, and relief coordination is needed. World Cares Center was created to fill that very need. Once a year, we gather the emergency response community together to have a spirited, competitive culinary cook off in which firehouse chefs and restaurant chefs battle it out for bragging rights (lots of bragging) and the title of Iron Skillet® Champion. Emergency responders, community leaders, corporate sponsors, and everyday citizens gather for a festive night of food, drink, and merriment as they savor the dishes that flow freely throughout the night. This year’s event on October 22, 2012 at Crimson restaurant from 6pm-10pm will bring down the house! It’s World Cares Center’s way of giving back to the emergency response community, but it also allows us to thank those people who consistently get involved for the greater good. With this one night, we stop time and enjoy ourselves. World Cares Center also takes 100% of the proceeds and puts it to good use with its educational training programs and outreach efforts throughout the coming year.
There’s still time to get a taste of these mouth-watering dishes. For tickets, go to: www.ironskilletcookoff.org. Come and join us for food, laughter, and a unique live auction as we take this moment in time to give back, and look forward.
In a world where gourmet food continues to spread beyond the walls of traditional restaurants to food trucks, pop-up restaurants, and farmer’s market stands, restaurant chefs continue to reinvent dishes. Often this means reimaining conventional ideas of food pairings, using new cooking techniques, and upgrading the dining environment to complement the food. Or they could just compete in our 11th annual Iron Skillet® Cook Off! On October 22, 2012 at Crimson Restaurant, five top restaurant chefs will reinterpret the original recipes of five superb firehouse chefs. Each year, World Cares Center sponsors the Iron Skillet® Cook Off as both a fundraiser for its ongoing emergency response training programs and as a way to celebrate the resilient communities that help their neighbors when disaster strike. The restaurant chefs know that the firehouse chefs will bring all their best cooking techniques and tasteful secrets. This year, the arsenal of professional, restaurant chefs is particularly competitive. While the firehouse chefs create the recipes, the restaurant chefs only know the name, bringing their own twist and creativity to the table and wowing the judges. Here is a small sample of the star-power of our restaurant chef competitors.
Chef Diane DiMeo, a Food Network Chopped winner and co-star of TLC’s world cuisine cooking show, Mission Menu, is taking New York by storm with her Bootleg Farms line of condiments (think artisanal pickles and sauces) and her new, highly-successful Bootleg pop-up restaurant. She will prepare her own rendition of Smothered Pork Chops. Chef Michael Carrino from Pig & Prince Restaurant has been a celebrated chef since a young age; he was inducted into the prestigious food and wine society, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs™ at the age of 28. He knows how to reinvent the classics and will add his cooking flair to a Spicy Apple Pork dish. Chef Jack Koumbis of Assembly Steakhouse and Seafood Grill was the youngest Executive Chef within the Grand Bay Hotel hospitality company. His Englewood Cliffs restaurant is known as an elegant eatery with impeccable style and great steaks. Chef Koumbis will compete within his area of expertise, making White Lightening Surf & Turf that’s sure to wow. Our next chef is in charge of all the concession stands and lounge eateries at Yankee Stadium. Chef Matt Gibson, formerly an Executive Sous Chef at New York’s famed Spice Market restaurant, is currently the Executive Chef at Legends Hospitality – the sole food and beverage provider for the new Yankee Stadium. Chef Gibson will present a high-end, delicious take on Skirt Steak with Burgundy Cream Sauce. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. From a New York classic we have Chef Dino Redzic from Uncle Paul’s Pizza. Given his background as both a butcher and a former Maitre’d at the James Beard House, Chef Redzic has learned to marry refined classic style with our country’s much beloved dish - pizza. Chef Redzic will prepare Skewers of Chicken and Sweet Potato with a Chipotle Sauce.
There’s still time to get a taste of these mouth-watering dishes.
World Cares Center is gearing up for our biggest event of the year – the 11th annual Iron Skillet® Cook Off on October 22, 2012 at Crimson Restaurant. We have five awesome firehouse chefs who will compete against five restaurant chefs in the hottest match-up in town.
Taking a page from the spirit of first responders everywhere, our team of firehouse chefs is culled from fire stations across the five boroughs of New York. Usually hard at work feeding their firefighter brothers healthy, flavorful meals, these firehouse chefs have to do things on the run, often producing cost-efficient, foolproof recipes in a short amount of time. We know they can take the heat of the kitchen, but what exactly does Team Firehouse have in store for us come October 22nd? To take a peak inside the event, we’re revealing some of the menu items to give you a preview of the night’s offerings. Knowing these chefs, there are bound to be many surprise taste elements in the dishes they prepare.
Joe Russo, Ladder 156 (Brooklyn) is preparing mouth-watering Smothered Pork Chops, Pete Lazarcheck, Engine 291 (Queens) brings us tender Skirt Steak with Burgundy Cream Sauce, Ron Venner, Engine 42 (Bronx) is kicking it up with Spicy Apple Pork, Khalid Baylor, Ladder 14 (Manhattan) heats things up with a Southern favorite, Fried Chicken and Waffles, and Robert Marolla, Engine 165 (Staten Island) will shine a spotlight on his White Lightening Surf & Turf.
*Check out next week’s blog on the stellar cast of restaurant chefs that hope to reinvent these dishes to win the Iron Skillet® title.