Tom PapoutsisTom 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 Popatis: Hi! My name is Tom Popatis. Ive been a firehouse chef for a lot of years. I was actually a finalist in 2004 Tabasco Cook & Ladder Competition in New York City, which is a national competition for fire fighters. Today, were going to do some basic potato things. When I say things I mean were going to roast some potatoes. Were going to show you how to do microwave potatoes and were also going to do a twice bake left over, bake potato kind of an interesting spin, a quick way of doing something, taking something plain and dressing it up a little bit. Were going to get start it in a few minutes, but first lets talk about safety in the kitchen. In the kitchen we have a lot of hot surfaces. We have sharp knives, please, please, please remember, when you are cutting, pay attention to what youre doing, keep your fingers back, dont let your fingers get in the way of your knife and also watch your hot surfaces. Dont pick up something without using a hot pad or a towel per se, but number one is, think safety in the kitchen.
So, lets get started and make some basic potato dishes.