FireHouse Food Destinations
By Hannah Richardson
New Fire Chief John Wynn and the Natchitoches Fire Department is the first department to be featured in FireHouse Food Destinations, an upcoming food destination web series. The show gives a sneak peek into the day-to-day tasks of local firemen and shares the how-to’s of their favorite recipes, while giving focus to the background of the city where they’re stationed. The idea behind the show began when a Shreveport Fire Department Captain, Allen Dantes, was spending time with his wife, Jeanie, watching food and travel destination shows on television a few months ago. He brought up the idea to Jeanie, who said it was a great idea. “Not only will the series highlight different cities and how they reflect on the dishes featured, but viewers will get an inside look on the lives of firemen and what a 24-hour shift consists of,” said Dantes.
He said the show is reminiscent of popular Guy Fieri shows, where Fieri focuses on the destination more than the food. With the help of fellow and former firemen TraJuan White of White Prophecy Photography and Videography, John Phelan of Black Helmet Films and host of the series Mark Myers Jr. of ReMarkable Foods, the crew set out to Natchitoches Sunday, Jan. 7 to film the first episode. They contacted six local fire departments in Alexandria, Shreveport, Bossier, Natchitoches, Monroe and Ruston to feature their departments and Natchitoches was the first to show interest. The crew came to Natchitoches that weekend to film drone shots of the city, visited the Natchitoches Tourist Commission to get information on the historic side of Natchitoches and visited the Central Natchitoches Fire Department where they filmed recruits training. They also filmed footage of the firefighters putting out a car fire for training, which can be viewed on YouTube at Black Helmet Films.
The Natchitoches Fire Department figured it would be a good way to show the inside workings on the department. Chief Wynn said on his shift, they usually spend time in the kitchen cooking up breakfast and one-pot meals. “When we cook, it’s more about us bonding than it is about eating,” said Wynn. They filmed the cooking part of the show in the station’s kitchen, seafood etouffée with some famous Natchitoches meat pies. The show’s crew also learned during their visit that Wynn would soon be named Fire Chief and gave their congratulation. Wynn was named Fire Chief the next day, Monday, Jan. 8, at the City Council meeting. “We want to draw in people who are history buffs, food buffs and those who are just interested in what life is like inside a fire station,” said Dantes. If the show generates enough interest on social media, they will pitch the show to a television network. Stay tuned online to see Chief Wynn’s debut in FireHouse Food Destination. The show is still in the editing process, so follow the Facebook page “FireHouse Food Destinations” for the episode featuring the NPFD and the other fire departments.