Joseph T. Bonanno Jr. is a 21 year veteran of The New York City Fire Department. He comes from a family of firefighters, both his father, Joseph T. Bonanno, Engine 88 FDNY and brother Michael Bonanno, Ladder 7 FDNY were firefighters. While a firefighter, Joe became certified as a fitness trainer and nutritionist with certifications from N.Y.U, The American Council on Exercise, The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and The International Sports Medicine Association.
Firefighters, while known for bravery, also have a reputation as excellent cooks, preparing and sharing meals while on duty. With his fitness and nutrition background, Joe prepared healthy meals for the firefighters he worked with. After attending a class at the New School in Manhattan, A New York editor from Hearst Publishing approached him about doing a "healthy" firehouse cookbook. Another NYC Firefighter, John Sineno, had published a New York Times best selling cookbook in 1984. A proposal and sample recipes were sent to the editor and The Healthy Firehouse Cookbook was published.
To establish himself in the culinary field, Joe entered and won many "firehouse" cooking contests, including "Americas Greatest Firehouse Chef" The FDNY Bake Off, McIlleheny Tabasco Sauce Cook and Ladder Contest, The International Firefighter Olympic Culinary Division and recently, against some of Florida's top chefs, The Florida State Iron Chef Competition.
Joe has appeared several times on "Live with Regis", Martha Stewart, The Today Show, Good Morning America, FOX N.Y. and many others. He has been featured in the New York Times, The Daily News, Eating Well and Bon Appetite. A second book, The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook was then published with more appearances following.
Upon leaving the fire service, Joe received his Culinary/Chefs Degree with honors from theCulinary Academy of Long Island, doing internships at two of Long Islands top restaurants. Joe also teaches at the A La Carte cooking school in Lynbrook, NY.
Joe has been approached by several producers to do a "Firehouse" cooking show, with a set resembling a NYC Firehouse. While waiting for that opportunity, Joe gives culinary demonstrations, nutrition and fitness classes for the fire service and has been a spokesperson for Ronzoni, Sorrento Cheese, Butterball Turkey, Johnson and Johnson and more.
CBS Saturday Morning
Good Day L.A.
Good Day New York
Good Morning America
Live with Regis and Kelly
The Food Network
The Mike and Maty Show
The Today Show
Celebrity Cruise Lines
Edelman Public Relations
Public Relations Partners
Marina Maher Communications
Suburban Home and Garden Shows
USA Rice Council
Cleveland Plains Dealer
Daily Local News
Macys promo ad for The Cellar
Muscle and Fitness
National Fire & Rescue
New Jersey Start Ledger
New York Observer
NY 1st Responder News
The New York Times
Fitness / Nutrition
Education & Experience
New York University - Fitness / Nutrition Counselor
Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
American Council Exercise
International Sports Medicine.
Firefighters Combat Challenge 1st Place over 40
1st Place Americas Greatest Firehouse Chef
1st Place FDNY Bake Off
1st Place International FFr Olympics
1st Place Florida Iron Chef Competition
2nd Place McIlhenny Tabasco Sauce "Cook and Ladder"
21 Year FDNY Veteran
3 Unit citations for bravery
Worked post 9/11/01 efforts at Ground Zero
$75,000 raised to benefit FDNY Family Members
Graduate Chef Culinary Academy Of Long Island with honors
Internship The Argyle, Babylon, N.Y.
Internship Goccia D'Oro, Lindenhurst, N.Y.
The Institute for Culinary Education. N.Y. N.Y.
New York University Fitness/Training Counselor