There is no question that firefighters keep our society functioning and running smoothly. One crew of firefighters got a special meal indeed. The month of August was very hot, and the California wildfire season raged on. However, when the firefighters were literally exhausted fighting the blazes, it was celebrity chef Guy FIeri to the rescue with a great home-cooked meal for all of them to enjoy!
That’s right. Guy Fieri gave back to the crews fighting on these front lines with LITERALLY THOUSANDS of freshly cooked meals.
KTVU’s Sal Castaneda joined Fieri on Tuesday and Wednesday of that week at the Lassen County Fairgrounds so that he could help and prepare the food for the hungry fire crews that were battling the Dixie Fire. He quickly realized that Fieri was a real go-getter, to say the least.
“He showed, that’s the funny thing,” Fieri said. “I ran into him in a parking lot at 1:00 in the morning. The other night I got the job. You made it. It’s awesome. He’s been a big help, too,” Fieri said.
The stunning thing about it all is that these two TV personalities were just part of a special team of 25 volunteers who had descended upon that base camp in order to pay back the firefighters for all of the amazing acts of heroism that they do day in and day out. Considering that these individuals had spent at least the last 40 keeping the Dixie Fire and keeping the flames from expanding into the various subdivisions and neighborhoods in the area, it was time to give them their due.
Guy Fieri is known as the “Mayor of Flavortown” and he was back in the North Bay that week doing what he has a passion for, which is whipping up amazing dishes in the kitchen. However, this time he was doing it for a special group of people.
It was Tuesday night alone when Fieri served 2,200 people. There were at least a hundred firefighters at that base camp, and all of those and the others on the front lines got treated to a restaurant-quality meal thanks to Guy Fieri and his crew. The firefighters, the California Highway Patrol, and the Lassen County Sheriff were all energized to continue fighting this blaze and keep it from becoming a devilish behemoth that will continue taking over the Golden State.
“There’s a lot of first responders who can’t make it to the base camp. So we sent it to the fire lines. We sent it to a lot of the sheriff’s department and CHP that were out blocking roads,” Fieri said.
The menu called for food that was worthy of a king, including such staples as pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw. Moreover, all of it was made from scratch. Fieri and his team worked around the clock, cooking literally 1,200 pounds of pulled pork.
Reflecting on Tuesday, Castaneda says cooking 2,200 meals wasn’t that easy of a feat. “I didn’t realize, first of all, how hard it is to do the hard work, nothing compared to what the firefighters are doing. But you’re also working hard. You’re out here working the whole day,” Castaneda said.
“We’ve got a great group of people, Fieri said. “We have folks from all different walks of life, you name it. From construction to law to medicine to truck driving to security system systems… we got a pilot, you name it.”
But, Fieri says he could use more help. “We need hands. We need help,” he said.
“These firefighters, first responders really appreciate it. All the people who came by really loved it,” Castaneda said.
Castaneda is just a local celebrity, but he does note that his cooking skills have improved since his time working with the celebrity chef and Fieri agrees. “I learned how to use a knife a little better,” he said. “I think you guys absolutely should see this guy cook, Fieri said. “His cooking skills went up three notches yesterday!”
This was not the first time that Guy Fieri has stepped up to the plate and contributed to the firefighting crew. When first responders were battling the Kincaid blaze in Sonoma County, he cooked a fantastic meal for those exhausted firefighters.