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Where There’s Heat, There’s a Winner

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Emcee Dave Rios (left) talks with Larry Jansky of Station 11 about their pulled pork pizza.

Emcee Dave Rios (left) talks with Larry Jansky of Station 11 about their pulled pork pizza.

Pulled Pork Pizza. Pork Ribs. Throwdown Chicken Wings.

Pulled Pork Pizza.

Pulled Pork Pizza.

Three unbeatable dishes. One difficult choice.

That’s what the third annual Fire Fighter Q Off came down to Sunday at Q on the Riverwalk in the Downtown Hyatt, 123 Losoya St.

And what a choice.

Throwdown Chicken Wings for a crowd.

Throwdown Chicken Wings for a crowd.

Imagine a slice of pizza with a savory barbecue sauce instead of a tomato sauce. Then pile high with pulled pork. Top with tomato slices and fresh mozzarella, and bake until it all melts together.

Or sink your teeth into the thought of first pork ribs grilled with a fruit-flavored rub. The meat is firm and yet each bite pulls easily away from the bone. Dip it into a hot and tangy sauce, if you want, and let the heat linger slightly on the finish.

The winning team from PSAP.

The winning team from PSAP.

Perhaps you’d prefer meaty chicken wings doused in a sauce that’s sweet and yet packs a little heat from a mix of whatever has could be found in the refrigerator.

In the end, the panel of judges chose PSAP’s Throwdown Chicken Wings as the overall winner, followed by Station 11’s Pulled Pork Pizza and Station 7’s Pork Ribs, while the Pork Ribs won the people’s choice award.

Before the competition, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood took a moment to remind people to practice fire safety this summer when barbecuing or grilling.

Make sure you have water close to your grill or smoker, he said. Other tips included:

  • Watch out for children playing in the area.
  • Don’t wear loose clothing around flame.
  • Don’t leave a grill unattended.
Station 7 gets ready to plate its ribs.

Station 7 gets ready to plate its ribs.

“We want to make sure you guys are safe,” Hood told the gathering.

The three finalists had been selected by Q on the Riverwalk chef David Wirebaugh, who narrowed down the entries from fire departments across the city.

The food was free to the public, but raffle tickets were sold to benefit Texas Burn Survivor Society. And through the month of June, 5 percent of sales in Q will go to benefit the agency, which provides care and services to the critically burned and their families. The clientele varies from children to wounded warriors and more.

The judges featured Sue Dodson, executive director of Texas Burn Survivor Society and Wirebaugh as well as several San Antonio foodies, including Julia Rosenfeld, Ron Bechtol, Bill Taylor and myself. Dave Rio of KONO 101 served as emcee.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood talks about fire safety while grilling.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood talks about fire safety while grilling.

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