By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published May 02, 2024 at 4:24 PM

Iron Mountain Refrigeration, a national distributor of commercial refrigeration equipment based in Pleasant Prairie, is inviting submissions from Wisconsin firefighters for its Firehouse Cook Challenge.

This culinary-style competition aims to spotlight firefighters from around the state who love to cook for their respective fire stations. Three finalists will be selected to face off in a cooking competition on Thursday, Aug. 8, at The Polish Center of Wisconsin in Franklin. The event will be produced and emceed by Kevin Fielder, president of Olive and Oak Events.

Entries can be made online and require a short application and a photo of the recipe being submitted. All entries must be submitted on or before June 14, 2024. All rules and contest details are available online.

Recipe entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges including Chef Jack Birren of Waukesha County Technical college; Bill Chase of Hometown Meats Deli & Catering; Kayla Cacciotti of Chef Kayla Marie LLC; Noe Fuentes, Milwaukee-based firefighter and culinary enthusiast.

Criteria will include taste, originality, visual appeal and the inspiration behind the recipe. Winners will receive the following prizes: 

  • First Place: Equipment valued at $5,000, split between winning firefighter and fire station.
  • Second Place: Equipment valued at $2,500, split between winning firefighter and fire station.
  • Third Place: Equipment valued at $1,000 to the winning firefighter.

“Firefighters play an integral role in Wisconsin communities, and we strive to provide them with the necessary equipment so that they don’t have to worry about their next meal or the quality of the food at the station,” notes Trevor Crivello, local firefighter and founder of Iron Mountain Refrigeration. “They deserve recognition for all they do for their communities and each other.”

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.