Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Salt Lake City Fire Dept. Captain Rich Elton, left, Andy Maxwell and Matt Gillies, from Station 8 shop during the pilot for "Dining With The Chief." Photo courtesy of LENZ-Works
SLC firefighters battle in cooking show
First Published Dec 11 2012 05:18 pm • Last Updated Dec 11 2012 05:18 pm

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Forget about "Chopped," and "Iron Chef," America’s next culinary competition show could be "Dining with the Chief."

LENZ-Works, a Utah-based production company, is pitching this reality cooking show where firefighters battle flames in their city and in the kitchen. The pilot features two Salt Lake City fire crews, one from Station 8, at 15 W. 1300 South and another from Station 5 at 1023 E. 900 South.

During the show, each team of firefighters is given $30 and three hours to shop, prepare and present a three-course meal to Salt Lake City Chief Kurt Cook. The teams cook and compete all while responding to emergency calls around the city.

At the end of the three hours, the chief does a blind tasting of each course to determine a winner. The victor gets bragging rights and a $3,000 check for charity.

Olympic swimmer and Park City resident Summer Sanders is the host. Watch the pilot on YouTube.

story continues below
story continues below

LENZ-Works partners Tom Zdunich and Dan J. Debenham screened the pilot for Salt Lake firefighters and their families on Tuesday morning and said they are currently trying to get a cable station to buy the show, which could be easily replicated in cities and firehouses across the country.

Chief Cook said he and other city officials were initially skeptical about doing the show. "We were worried how it would be perceived by the public," he said. "We wanted them to know that we were responding to all calls and that it wasn’t interfering with daily business."

But since responding to calls is built into the competition, they were happy to sign on. There were no fire calls on the day of filming, which took place in June. However, crews did respond to three different cycling accidents — two involving cars and one with a Trax train. There were no fatalities.

While emergency calls are the primary hurdle for the cooks, firefighters also must deal with a mystery ingredient and pranks from the opposing team.

Station 8 Captain Rich Elton said the shenanigans aren’t just for the camera. "We have serious jobs with a lot of responsibility but we don’t want to take that home with us," he said. "One way to do that is with a little horseplay."

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.