Sixteen months ago I was having dinner with my wife, when she turned to me and asked "What would you do if you weren't a fireman?". My response needed no further thought, "I would want to cook" I answered. One week later, we were sitting in the admission office at the International Culinary Center in Manhattan. I walked out of the school with so many thoughts going through my head that it felt like it was going to explode. But I also had a sense of belonging as we toured the kitchens of the building in SoHo. While it may have been premature, I couldn't help but feel as if that is where I needed to be. A month later, I started my 14 month journey in the Professional Culinary Arts Program at one of the best culinary schools in the nation.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about starting school. Here I was with among my classmates who for the most part were "career changers", yet in my case I was a "career adder". Working 24 hour shifts, mutual swaps and on top of that culinary class on Tuesday and Thursday nights was sure to be a challenge. But I knew with the help of my brothers at work as well as the support of my family, anything was possible.
With this being my first blog post, let me start off by giving you the lowdown on who I am and why I am here. My name is AJ Fusco and I have been a career firefighter with the Harrison Fire Department in New York for 11 years, and you could probably say that is about how long I have been seriously passionate about cooking. When I started on the job, it was immediately evident to me that the kitchen is the most important room in the firehouse. It is around the table where we solve the world's problems, talk about "jobs" and just break eachother's chops. And then it is meal time, and while all firehouses are different when it comes to who cooks and who is doing the dishes, one thing remains a constant....we all sit down and eat together. Prepping the meal, eating and even cleaning up all build stronger bonds amongst a crew. Once I realized how important cooking is in the firehouse, I knew I wanted to share it with the world. And thus Fork and Hose Co. was born...
I started a simple blog with my intentions being that I would share my own recipes with maybe some family, friends and other local firehouse chefs. Little did I know that it would grow to an online community of firefighters from all over the world who share the same passion for cooking. The goal of F&H Co. has always been and always will be to inspire everyone in the kitchen. After sometime, this goal has had a slight "makeover" in that we also try to show the importance of healthier eating in the firehouse. We all know the staggering statistics of LODD's and cardiac related incidents, and one way to lower these is through nutrition in the kitchen.
I look forward to discussing all thing culinary with you guys! Stay safe, eat well!