Our 2018 Competitors
We are so FIRED UP to announce your competitors for the 3rd Annual Fire it Up! BBQ Competition!

Antoine McKnight Reigning "Fire it Up!" Grand Champ and multiple category winner, LAFD Assistant Chief Antoine McKnight, returns to "Fire it Up!" 2018 eager to reclaim his title. Chief McKnight is competing in all three categories, including the new tri-tip category. He's been honing his BBQ skills this past year and looks to add to his trophy collection October 20 at FFCU!

Mark Curry Battalion Chief Mark Curry, a 29-year veteran of the LAFD assigned to Battalion 9 in West LA. is a 4th Generation Firefighter, Graduate of the Westlake Culinary Institute, 2012 Los Angeles Time's "Best Firehouse Chef", 2013 Winner on Season 1 of Food Network's "Guy's Grocery Games" ($16,000 win donated to LAFRA Widow's and Orphan's Fund), Co-Head of the LAFD BBQ Team, and a Competitor in numerous Firehouse competitions. Mark's ribs were a bigtime crowd pleaser at the 1st Annual "Fire it Up!" BBQ Competition and he tells us he's very excited to return in year three. Mark will be competing in all three categories – come cheer him on October 20 at FFCU!

Dwayne Harper Returning competitor LADOT Officer Dwayne Harper made a very strong showing in his first "Fire it Up!" BBQ Competition last year, taking home the top prize for Best Chicken. This past year, Dwayne has been adding to this BBQ playbook and looks forward to taking home even more trophies this year. In fact, he's ready to hand out citations to anyone with the nerve to stand grill to grill with him! Dwayne and his team Hot Ashes will be competing in the Chicken, Tri-Tip, and Ribs categories – come cheer him on October 20 at FFCU!

Sedrick Moore Returning competitor, LADOT Senior Traffic Supervisor Sedrick Moore gave the firefighter teams solid competition at last year's "Fire it Up!" BBQ Competition, winning both People's Choice and Best Pulled Pork titles. Sedrick shared with us that he looks forward to winning even more categories this year!! Come cheer him on October 20 at FFCU!

James Nicholson "Fire it Up!" Newcomer James Nicholson is the son and grandson of LAFD firefighters, and brother of a Kern County firefighter. James works an office job and finds refuge from the fast-paced monotony of corporate life by constantly playing videos of Aaron Franklin and other famous pit masters on his computer at work. He has spent years daydreaming of rub and sauce recipes and is ready to test them out in his first ever competition October 20 at FFCU! Come cheer on James and his team, Deaf Dog Barbecue as they compete in the Chicken and ribs categories!

Mike Finger LAFD firefighter Mike Finger returns to "Fire it Up!" in 2018 after being deployed to a natural disaster during last year's competition. Our very first "Fire it Up!" Grand Champ from 2016, Firefighter Finger looks forward to competing against 2017 Grand Champ Antoine McKnight and the rest of the competitive field! Firefighter Finger is known for his pulled pork and other dishes, as well as winning BBQ competitions including Hope for Firefighters. Word is, he is competing in all 3 categories and also making his famous pulled pork sandwiches for all to enjoy October 20 at FFCU!

Jayson Johnson LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic Jayson Johnson "JJ" won the People's Choice award at the 2016 "Fire it Up!" BBQ Competition and had an amazing showing at last year's competition as well. JJ and his team "Vicious Cue 32" are hard at work preparing to bring home more trophies this year. VC 32 will be competing in the chicken, tri-tip, and ribs categories – come cheer them on October 20 at FFCU!

“Fire it Up!” Newcomer Los Angeles Women in the Fire Service is our competition's first nonprofit organization to participate as a team and first female firefighter team! LAWFS is ready to show everyone what they’ve got and walk away with multiple titles. This team may be new, but they will no doubt have the crowd talking about their BBQ skills October 20 at FFCU!

If you are unable to attend, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

LA County Board of Supervisors District 1

Our 2018 Vendors

In-Kind Donors
If you are unable to attend, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution.

Curacao Foundation
Abes Famous Jerky

About Fire Family Foundation

Fire Family Foundation Logo Established in 2008, Fire Family Foundation is committed to providing financial assistance to fire families in need, scholarships, and financial education while supporting fire charities nationwide. Firefighters are in service to all of our communities. They show up when we need assistance, generally in some of our most vulnerable times. Through medical emergencies, fires, and national disasters, we depend upon firefighters to help us. We believe in helping them and their families to the extent possible during their times of need. The Foundation is committed to these men and women who unselfishly give so much of themselves, often at great risk and impact to family life.


Fire Family Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the charitable hand of Firefighters First Credit Union. Contributions are tax deductible. Tax ID # 36-4613248.

Board of Directors

Harry Crusberg
Gerald Horwedel
Marv Williams

Council of Champions

Severyn Aszkenazy
Isaac Burks
Tom Daly
Michael Dumas
Cindy Iwamoto
Aaron Straussner

About the African American Firefighter Museum

AAFFM LogoThe AAFFM opened its doors as a Museum on December 13, 1997. The dedication of the Museum also served as the acknowledgement of what was believed to be the city’s first 100 years of service by African American Firefighters (1897-1997). The museum’s purpose is to promote diversity and to stand up for inequality against all races and genders. Today the AAFFM stands as the first and so far the only free standing African American Firefighter Museum in the United States. The first floor contains vintage fire apparatus, stories and pictures of pioneering African American Los Angeles Firefighters. The Museum gallery is located on the second floor with pictures, artifacts and other memorabilia of African American Firefighters from around the country. There is a memorial moving tribute to the firefighters that perished during the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.


The African American Firefighter Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. Contributions are tax deductible.

Board of Directors

President: Michelle Banks
Ryan Ballard
Kelli Shope
Dwight Sankey
Brad Joyce
Daniel Sankey
Jayson Johnson
Christian Smith

Advisory Council

Brent Burton
Carolyn Hughes
Rich Fields
Antoine McKnight
Gerald Durant
Joyce Lamkin
Akosua Hobert-Pierce

© Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.   Competitors  |  Judges  |  Follow On Facebook  |  Contact

If you are using a screen reader or other auxiliary aid and are having problems using this website, please call 800-533-3448 for assistance. Also, all information available on this website is also available at our physical location (815 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041), where we would be happy to assist you further.