Chef Showdown pits firefighters against Atria on Roslyn Harbor staff

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From left, East Meadow firefighters Michael Baumann and Glenn Carpenter sauce their ribs during the baebecue competition at Atria on Roslyn Harbor Thursday. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

The Atria on Roslyn Harbor combined a serious talk about summer fire safety with a tasty barbecue cook-off between a local fire department and the assisted living home’s culinary staff.

Atria on Roslyn Harbor director of culinary services Amanda Ciniglio plates her ribs during the competition. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Atria director of culinary services Amanda Ciniglio and her team faced off Thursday against veteran firefighters from East Meadow Fire Department in a battle of ribs, chicken and burgers.

Mixed with the smells of barbecue were lessons on summer fire safety from Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center chief instructor John Murray.

“The biggest thing with any barbecue, whether it’s propane or natural gas, you want to make sure it’s in good working order. Any grill has to be taken care of,” Murray said. “The other thing is, here we are in July, and people have been grilling for the last two and half months. It’s time to look at these grills again. I doubt they’ve all been cleaned properly, and you also want to check the hoses, so that it’s safe.”

Murray said grills are both easy to maintain when done properly while also a major cause for fires and carbon monoxide issues during the warmer months. Grills should always be placed on flat surfaces in places with good ventilation and no overhanging roof or trees.

“People are embarrassed, having all these fire trucks in front of the house, wondering what the neighbors are going to think. Who cares? It’s about your family and your property. If they need us, call us. That’s our job.”

From left, East Meadow Fire Department Chief Joseph Lennon and a fellow firefighter cut ribs. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

East Meadow Chief Joseph Lennon and his crew won over the four judges, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Anton Community News publisher Angela Anton, Nassau County Firefighters Museum president Angelao Catalano and Atria executive director Allison Miller, thanks to their special barbecue sauce slathered on the chicken and ribs.

“It’s been our company over 85 years, that barbecue sauce recipe,” Lennon said. “It’s passed down from generation to generation, from picnic committee to picnic committee.”

From left, East Meadow Fire Department Chief Joseph Lennon and Atria on Roslyn Harbor director of culinary services Amanda Ciniglio celebrate with their trophies after the competition. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Ciniglio, however, won the hearts of the residents and guests and took home the people’s choice award for her honey bourbon ribs, honey apple bourbon pulled chicken sliders and hamburger with queso fresco and spicy corn salsa.

“Our company is from Kentucky, so everything we do is with bourbon,” Ciniglio said. “There’s a lot of bourbon in everything because we are bourbon at heart.”

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