He's a D.C. firefighter who dabbles in cooking and is pleasing plenty of palates. He is also about to get some national attention.
Chris Hebert loves to eat and his firefighter friends like to eat too.
“We've had good cooks, then there are great cooks, but then you had Chris,” one of his fellow firefighters told us.
This amateur chef is getting some recognition outside the fire station. He was selected to compete against other firefighters on the show “Cutthroat Kitchen” on Food Network.
“I was thinking I can't disappoint the guys here at the firehouse,” Hebert said.
They shot the show in January in California.
“It was a blast,” he said. “It probably ranked up with there with some of my great life experiences.”
It will air on August 16. How did he do?
“Top secret,” he told us. “Got to tune in.”
Hebert works at Engine Company 13 in Southwest D.C. He is also a volunteer firefighter at a station in Hyattsville.
He said there are some parallels between being a firefighter and being a chef.
“It's hot!” said Hebert. “The kitchen is hot. You can burn yourself in the kitchen. Believe me, I’ve done in here [at the fire station]. I'll go out of here with burns all over my arms from reaching into the stove.”
Firefighters know their food and it goes way beyond chili.
“If they don't like it, they're going to tell you they don't like it,” Herbert said.
But he said his own kids are his toughest critics. He is teaching them to cook just like his mom taught him. When Hebert was a kid, his grandmother owned a restaurant in Vermont.
“That's how my dad met my mom,” said Hebert. “He used to go in there for the donuts.”
He has never had any formal training as a chef. As the saying goes, he plans to keep his day job.
We are pretty sure his fellow firefighters wouldn't let him leave anyway.
“I'll come in from home if I’m off and bring the family in if I know he's cooking,” said his fellow firefighter.
“I guess I like that sort of satisfaction of satisfying others,” Hebert said.