Plating Chili

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,382
    Firehouse chef Tom Papoutsis shows how to serve up the chili.

    Tom Papoutsis

    Tom Papoutsis is a “Firehouse Chef” that currently holds the rank of Lieutenant with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Tom’s experience in the Fire Service spans over 29 years, 19 of which have been with Fairfax County. The bulk of his firehouse culinary expertise has been practiced during his tenure there. He was a national finalist in the 2004 Tabasco Cook & Ladder Competition finishing in the top 10 of the nations Firehouse Chef’s, and traveled to New York City to compete in a cook off with his peers. He has also been placed on the “charity” auction block several times to prepare meals for the highest bidder. Tom likes to specialize in Italian and Greek cuisine being of the same heritage, but also enjoys preparing Asian and of course “Good Ole American” foods as well. He concentrates on entrées but also has a few hors d’oeuvres and dessert specialties as well, such as his versions of Bruschetta and Amaretto Cheesecake. For the past year he has been studying the practice of making homemade Italian deli meats and sausages. Tom’s motto: “It’s just cooking, not rocket science, take a chance…..you might like it!” Residing in Chambersburg, PA with his wife JoAnn, twins Jonathan & Katie and “Buddy” their Golden Retriever. Tom enjoys cycling, hunting, fishing, woodworking, raising his children and helping form today’s youth while volunteering with son Jonathan’s Cub Scout pack. Tom can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

    Tom Papoutsis: Hi, were back with Tom Papoutsis, Fairfax County, Fire And Rescue, McLean Fire Station 1. Weve been making Three Alarm Chili today. The chilies have been sitting here in simmering for couple of hours. Its actually started to coming together back whenever we added all these ingredients and every thing and were at the point now where we are ready plate this up.

    I want to give it a good stir here and we want to take a look at it, I will try to possibly get a good tilt for you. So you can see, this is what were looking at. I mean its got a wonderful color, wonderful flavor when we tasted it was really good. The vegetables have all cooked down very nicely for us, the smell is wonderful, we do have plenty of cumin in there, which remember, thats the key ingredient. Okay, so it looks wonderful, were going to give it a shot and we are going to see. This is how we serve it. Now, remember you can serve this by itself but in the fire house what we typically serve it with is a couple of different things.

    The guys like corn bread; they love corn bread with the chili. The other thing they like is they enjoy macaroni, so they can have chili macaroni with cheese. So macaroni, corn bread or you can use like a French bread or even an Italian bread to go along with it. Were going to garnish this with a little bit of onion. Weve got some diced onion here, so we are just going to kind of throw some onion on there, very nice. We take a little bit of Co-Jack cheese and were going to sprinkle it some Co-Jack, just like that and you want to make it look little fancy, just take a little bit of hot sauce and maybe just a couple of dots of hot sauce all around the edge, if anybody wants a little extra heat, there you are and there it is.

    That is our Firehouse Three Alarm Chili.