The hot air on the pier blasted us from all directions at yesterday's FDNY cook-off in Red Hook—and that was before Marty Markowitz arrived! Jokes! The Fairway Firefighters Food Face-Off brought the heat and the meat to the space behind Fairway market, with four teams of local firefighters grilling up ridiculous portions of burgers, ribs and chicken for a panel of judges including the Brooklyn Borough President and yours truly.

The sweltering heat of the afternoon intensified as the guys got to grilling. Red cups in hand—I spotted a box of Franzia hastily stuffed into a cooler—New York's bravest schmoozed with groupies, tossed lighthearted barbs at other teams and constructed their dishes. Organizers announced the secret burger ingredient—Citron Confit, or preserved lemon—and groups rushed to incorporate it with only 15 minutes before judgement began. Meanwhile the judges panel sat and perspired, waiting for the onslaught.

First came the burgers, with all but one team choosing to present their patties on a brioche bun. A favorite came topped with goat cheese, blue cheese, pesto and arugula; another with just an alarmingly casual slice of cheese. Next up, grilled chicken creations, as not a single team opted to make vegetable skewers ("Manly men masticate meat!"). And finally, a round of pork ribs, for which head judge Marty brought in a pig-eating ringer.

After tallying judges' scores, Brooklyn Heights Hicks Street, Engine 224, took home top honors, including a $500 Fairway gift card and a Fairway Shopping Night where a percentage of profits will be donated to The Firefighters Burn Center Foundation, as chosen by the winners.