There is no doubt that the final for this year’s fourth annual 5 Alarm Cookoff, a firefighter cook contest sponsored by the New York Daily News, will not disappoint foodies, especially if local Sheepshead Bay firefighter and competitor John Sierp has anything to say about it.
Sierp, of our own Ladder 169 (2732 East 11th Street), is one of the finalists in this year’s tournament, where his special Warm Orzo Salad with Greek Lamb Meatballs will square off against last year’s overall winner and Carroll Gardens native Jing Kong of EMS Station 32. Kong’s specialties include his carefully prepared Vietnamese Sugarcane Shrimp.
Sierp and Kong are seasoned veterans of this contest, having both made it to the final rounds in last year’s competition, but they will also have to contend with one newcomer, Brooklyn Headquarters EMT Jeanette Lampoon. She made it to the final round with her Arroz Borracho, or drunken rice, a mix of rice, veggies, meat, and beer.
In making it to the final round, Sierp earned high praise from the judges.
“The meatballs just came together extremely well. Everything he did with the pesto and orzo underneath just worked together and came out really great,” judge Joseph Morrone told the Daily News.
The cookoff itself is being held at William E. Grady High School in Brighton Beach and whoever ends up winning will take home $5,000 cash, new kitchen appliances, and a $2,500 gift card from Key Foods.