About a dozen police officers, firefighters, and EMTs cooked up their best dishes Sunday afternoon with their sights set on being named the top chef among the city’s first responders.
The inaugural First Responders Charity Cookoff was held at the Beacon to benefit the Jersey City Firefighters Distress Fund, the Police Unity Tour and the Code Green Campaign.
Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and New Jersey Devils legend Ken Daneyko were among the celebrity judges who helped taste and judge the first responders’ dishes.
Jersey City Police Officer Mariela Nieves took home two of the top five prizes — the People’s Choice Award and the Cake Boss Award — for her Spanish pork and rice dish. The 11-year veteran and South District officer said she’s looking forward to competing again next year.
“I love things like this,” Nieves said of the event. “You get to talk to the people of the community.”
Jersey City Medical Center EMTs Ernie Rios and Ray Krajovics placed second in the People’s Choice category for their butternut squash pasta with brown butter sauce and grape tomatoes.