Before This Weekend's Chefs On Fire Event, We Catch Up With One Chef Close To The Cause.

On Sunday, April 29, the Texas Chefs Association will team up with area firefighters to host the third annual Chefs on Fire affair.

The event, scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Shops at Park Lane, is set up as a “community block party,” featuring several food trucks, live music, fire safety and education, a junior firefighters competition and the namesake event, the Chefs on Fire grilling competition.

50 teams consisting of a chef and a firefighter each will compete in this day-long event, which will feature a series of cook-offs leading up to the championship round. The Chief's Challenge will end the day as local fire chiefs prepare their favorite entrees and compete for DFW's Top Chef/Chief award.

One of the chefs competing in the grilling competition is the Sundown at the Granada's chef de cuisine, Kevin Fleming. It's a cause close to his heart.

At age 5, Fleming was caught in a fire that burned his body from the neck down. After therapy, he was sent to the Parkland Burn Center to help find a way to reduce scaring. The process took almost two years to complete.

Becoming involved with Chefs on Fire, he says, is just one way he can give back to the team that gave so much to him. To preview this event, we sat down and spoke with Kevin as he began to prepare for Sundays challenge.

Do you know your teammate in this event?
Yeah! His name is Lloyd Campbell. I met him just for this competition, and I'm sure I already have a life-long friend through this random happy meeting.

Do you guys know what you'll be preparing on Sunday or is it an on-the-spot decision?
We'll be doing a pineapple pork loin, with basmati rice and grilled broccoli with parmesan cheese crumbles. I am also prepared to do our Sundown shrimp tacos with a special twist — shrimp and grits.

Have you ever participated in any other competitions?
I have. I was 17, supporting my 16-year-old chef companion at an ACF competition in Shreveport. We took home a silver for our entree and the gold for our dessert! At age 16 and 17!

What other things are you involved in?
I own The Speedy Cook catering company, where I am a personal chef that designs and tailors all menus to the needs and wants of the client. I also work with Renato Rimach, and we shoot food photography. I mainly just style and plate food for him to shoot. I love anything food-related, so naturally I also became a consultant to help put back on track those off the track.

Do you have mantra?
If you live like there's no going back, you may find yourself succeeding where you never thought you could before. Never give up! Never surrender!

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