About Me

Picture me and Michael FDNY

Graphite Drawing by Joseph T. Bonanno

 Joseph T. Bonanno is a 21 year veteran firefighter with the New York City Fire Department and served in Engine 319, Ladder 129 and Ladder 152. Joe's brother Michael,  was also a firefighter with the FDNY serving in Engine 315, Engine 216 and Ladder 7. While a firefighter, Joe became certified as a fitness trainer and nutritionist with certifications from New York University, 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 and received rave reviews throughout the culinary and firefighting community.

To further 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, won The Florida State Iron Chef Competition at the Florida State Fair.Joe has appeared several times on "Live with Regis", Martha Stewart, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Saturday Morning, FOX N.Y. and many others. He has been featured in the New York Times, The Daily News, The NY Post, Eating Well and Bon Appetit. A second book, The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook was then published with more appearances following.Joe and his brother Michael, worked tirelessly during the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero after 9/11/2001 and their stories are contained in the 9/11/2001 FDNY section. Upon leaving the fire service, Joe received his Culinary/Chefs Degree with honors from The Culinary 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 just published a third book, a childrens' book, highlighting the adventures of Monutza The Firefighting Elephant and is pursuing making an animated movie about the story.

Joe recently completed a first season of Firehouse Kitchen/American Firehouse Cuisine, sliding down a real fire pole onto a set he built himself resembling a nostalgic NYC Firehouse. These episodes can be viewed on this website. Joe gives culinary demonstrations, nutrition and fitness classes for the fire service and has been a spokesperson for Ronzoni, Macy's, KitchenAid,  Sorrento Cheese, Butterball Turkey, Johnson and Johnson and others.

  • Live With Regis and Kelly
  • Martha Stewart
  • Good Day L.A.
  • Good Day New York
  • Good Morning America
  • The Food Network
  • Daytime Tampa
  • The Mike and Maty Show
  • The Today Show
  • WB 11
  • Satellite Media Tour with Bobby Flay for Butterball Turkey
  • CBS Saturday NYC
  • Celebrity Cruise Lines
  • Public Relations Partners
  • KitchenAid
  • Ronzoni Pasta
  • Butterball Turkey
  • Viking Appliances
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • US Canola Oil
  • USA Rice Council
  • Viking Appliances
  • Fox and Friends  promotion for the Movie "Frequency" with Dennis Quaid
  • Bon Appetit
  • Eating Well
  • Cleveland Plains Dealer
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Daily News
  • Eating Well
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Fire Chief
  • Firehouse
  • Glamour
  • Muscle and Fitness
  • National Enquirer
  • National Fire & Rescue
  • New Jersey Start Ledger
  • New York Observer
  • Newsday
  • NY 1st Responder News
  • Rescue
  • Salon
  • Tampa Tribune
  • The New York Times
  • USA Today
  • Womans Day
Fitness / Nutrition
Culinary Awards
Education & Experience
  • New York University - Fitness / Nutrition Counselor
  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America- Certified Fitness Trainer
  • American Council Exercise-Certified Fitness Trainer
  • International Sports Medicine Association-Nutritionist
  • Firefighters Combat Challenge 1st Place over 40
  • 1st Place Americas Greatest Chef
  • 1st Place FDNY Bake Off
  • 1st Place International FD Olympics/Culinary Division
  • 1st Place Florida Iron Chef Competition
  • 2nd Place McIlhenny Tabasco Sauce "Cook and Ladder"
  • 2nd Place FDNY Culinary Cook Off


  • 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 Post 9/11
  • U.S.A.F. Veteran
  • 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. - Spa Cuisine
  • The Institute for Culinary Education, N.Y., N.Y. Italian/French Cuisine