The Firehouse Kitchen cooking show, created and developed by Bayport resident Ray Cooney, will be feeding hundreds, if not over a 1,000 repair and cleanup crews in Breezy Point Saturday afternoon thanks to local business donations.
Cooney, a retired NYC fireman who owns Shaolin Self Defense in Bayport and is a volunteer fireman, said the idea was spawned after seeing a news program this past Monday morning about the storm devastation in the New York neighborhood.
Breezy Point, a small neighborhood in the Rockaways, lost at least 80 homes to a fire caused by the storm, according to the Huffington Post. The Rockaways remain in need of supplies, water and power.
Most residents have had to evacuate the area due to flooding damage and storm impact, but hundreds of cleanup and repair workers are in the community working long days to restore power and get people back into their homes.
“At first the idea was to go there and give a hot meal to the families suffering from the storm. But most had to evacuate so then I realize the workers could use the same thing given the 15 hour days they’re putting in,” said Cooney, who launched the weekly Firehouse Kitchen cooking show on TV55 in September with co-producer and partner author Ian Fydell.
Firehouse Kitchen airs at 11:30 a.m. on WLNY TV55/10 and can be seen on Cablevision and Fios. The show features Firehouse Kitchen Chef Joseph Bonnano and local firefighters, as well as fire safety tips from Cooney, who does a “Firefighter Ray” segment each week.
So Cooney got on the phone and started making calls and the feedback was quick and positive.
The menu is penne ala vodka and Italian bread. DiCarlo Foods in Holtsville donated all the needed items, from napkins to sternos, Georgi Vodka, a Long Island distillery, donated the vodka needed for the penne ala vodka sauce. The Irish Coffee Pub is providing the equipment needed to keep the 70 to 100 trays fo food hot for the ride to the community Saturday and Wenner Bread in Bayport donated a 1,000 rolls. The quantity will provide meals to over 1,000 people, said Cooney.
The pasta will be made starting at 8 a.m. Saturday morning in the Bayport Fire House kitchen and the sauce has already been prepped. The meal will be ready to be served to workers by 1 p.m.
The event, said Cooney, is the initiation project of the cooking show’s philanthropy focus called Firehouse Kitchen Relief Squad.
“The goal is to be able to help in any future disaster event,” said Cooney.