The Firehouse Chefs are bringing their firehouse eats to the streets! Long Beach Fire Captain Eddie Sell, who is the owner, creator and executive chef of the popular firefighter-run eatery, has joined the gourmet street food craze by launching the new Firehouse Chef food truck. Boasting Sell's innovative Firehouse Fusion Food, the truck will offer a variety of signature sandwiches, tasty salads and comfort finger foods cooked up by firefighter chefs from various Southern California fire agencies. "It's a balance of comfort food with a gourmet twist," says Sell of his original menu that's filled with fire service jargon. "For example, our starter plate of two sliders is 'Rookie Size,' while the larger three-slider plate is called a 'Senior Jake,' in reference to a firefighter I worked with. In fact, a lot of the menu items are named after actual firefighters."
The mouth-watering menu holds something for everyone, from homemade aiolis and sauces to new twists on old standards. (Jicama slaw anyone?) All dishes are prepared using fresh and distinctive ingredients flavored with Sell's personally created spices and rubs. "There are also some healthy choices," he says, understanding the importance of staying physically fit for the demands of the firefighting profession. "I really believe in utilizing seasonings and flavor to create a fusion of great taste and comfort, where you don't even realize that you're eating healthy."
From cooking fine dining on a Navy ship to barbecuing on a small coal stove in a forest while battling blazes as member of CAL Fire, Sell's diverse background has allowed him to combine his 17 years of experience in the fire service with his 20 years of cooking experience. After graduating high school, where he worked as a volunteer firefighter, he enrolled in the Navy and developed his craft of cooking through their culinary school. Sell's talents led him to become the personal chef of an Admiral, where he cooked for various dignitaries from militaries across the world. After leaving the military, Sell enrolled in fire science and emergency medical technician classes before being hired by CAL FIRE in 1994. In 2000, he joined Long Beach Fire Department and achieved the rank of Captain. Still wishing to express his culinary side, he created Firehouse Chefs, combining his love for food with this love for firefighting. "I literally use an incident command system to run my business," he says.
Volunteerism and public service ranks high among Sell's priorities, and he donates a portion of the Firehouse Chef profits to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, Wounded Warrior Project, County of Los Angeles Fire Museum and other worthy causes. Sell is currently working on a Firehouse Chefs television show to showcase the cooking talents of America's firefighters, as well as share secrets on how to prepare tasty, healthy, budget-friendly and time-saving meals that those in the fire service have learned to create while working in a firehouse. If you'd like to visit the Firehouse Chefs food truck, or are interested in having them attend a retirement party or promotional event, visit their website at http://www.firehousechefs.com where Sell's spices and rubs are also available for purchase. You can also follow them on Twitter at @FHCFoodtruck and on Facebook.