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Work Samples

Cooking up a competition: Lincolnwood police, fire departments to face off

The village of Lincolnwood’s human relations commission will host its third annual Iron Chiefs Cook-Off pitting the Lincolnwood Police and Fire departments against each other in a test of their culinary skills.

Modeled after the cooking show “Iron Chef,” the Jan. 26 event provides an opportunity to settle the score.

Featuring samples of food and drinks from local restaurants, the event will be held in the Lincolnwood Community Center from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets were $40 until Jan. 23 or $50 at the door while available.

Each department has won a competition.

Deputy Fire Chief Ray White said the excitement leading up to the event is evident.

“I think the police chief is throwing down the gauntlet, saying they’re going to win this year,” he said. “I think we’ll get it.”

Chief of Police Jay Parrot said the event tends to get competitive between the two departments.

“We get together as a team to try to produce a good meal under pressure,” he said.

Neither department has been informed of all the ingredients they’ll have at their disposal during the competition.

“A couple days in advance, they might tell you some ingredients. But the day of the event, there’s a secret ingredient they will reveal to you,” White said. “You have to work that into your preparation.”

Parrot gave credit to the human relations commission for working to put on the event. He said people tend to enjoy the event and what it aims to offer.

White said members of the fire department are practicing.

“We have some good chefs over here,” he said.

Parrot said members of the police department have been preparing as well.

“I’ve seen some emails going around with some ideas,” he said. “They’re starting to get in their initial prep work of trying to get some ideas on how they want to organize their team, in terms of who’s going to prep and do what.”

The event, emceed by Lincolnwood resident and Iron Chef America judge Mario Rizzotti, generates proceeds to benefit the Niles Township Food Pantry.

“Everybody loves to help,” White said.

Parrot shared that sentiment.

“As the chief, of course, I hope my department wins, but it’s all in good competition for a good cause,” he said.

This year’s judges will be chefs Fabio Viviani and Carlos Gaytan and WGN news anchor Sean Lewis.

For information, visit or call 847-745-4747.


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