BERLIN, N.H. – Bill Maddalena, a firefighter with the Berlin Fire Department, is trading in his turnout coat and Scott pack for an apron and spice rack and a chance to cook his way to a $10,000 grand prize in the fourth national Tabasco Cook and Ladder Competition to be held in New York City on Feb. 6.

Maddalena will go head-to-head with the culinary talent of nine other firefighters from across the country and serve up his favorite recipe – “Twisted” Brownie Sundae – to vie for the title of “America’s Hottest Firehouse Cook.”

A panel of food industry judges selected Maddalena to participate in the heated cook-off based on his fiery recipe submission, which includes one of the six Tabasco pepper sauces, and a brief essay describing why his recipe is the hottest and most creative dish in a firehouse kitchen.

Grand prize is $10,000; second prize, $5,000; and third prize, $2,000. All prize money is divided evenly between the winning firefighters and their affiliated firehouses.

Contestants will prepare their recipes for a judging panel composed of chefs. journalists, firefighters and fiery food experts from McIlhenny Co., maker of Tabasco brand products. For more information, visit