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KC firefighter shows off cooking skills on the Food Network

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro firefighter is heating things up in the kitchen. But it's no longer just at home or his firehouse. He's gone national!

FOX4’s Melissa Stern caught up with him and the other firefighters at Station 38 in Kansas City, Missouri, today.

“I love to eat, and everything revolves around food,” says Dung Pham, a firefighter with the Kansas City, Mo. Fire Department.

Dung Pham has been a firefighter for 20 years. He says any occasion, happy or sad, there`s always food and he loves making it, especially dishes inspired by his Vietnamese background.

“I`m a perfectionist when it comes to food. Everything has to be exactly right for me,” Pham says.

Pham was featured on an episode of ‘Guy’s Grocery Games’ on the Food Network Sunday night.

He spent five days in Santa Rosa, California, filming last October.

Firefighters across the U.S. applied to be on the episode. When the show narrowed it down to four, Pham was one of them.

“Seeing one of our own guys up there, a guy you come to work every third day with, we`re like family here, so it was a pretty proud moment for us to see him up there,” says John Castaneda, a firefighter who works with Pham.

Pham's co-workers at the firehouse say many firefighters are great cooks. But in this house, Pham is their go-to chef.

“He cooks anything. You name it, he will cook it up. He does some great Brazilian steak sandwiches. The chicken spiedini he makes on Sundays is amazing,” Castaneda adds.

Pham may be in charge in the kitchen, but he says he has plenty of sous chefs on hand.

“Everybody helps with the chopping, with the cleaning, everything, and here I am like Gordon Ramsey in a way,” adds Pham. “Whatever these guys want, I can whip it up!”

The firefighters and Pham’s wife encouraged him to apply for the show.

Although he didn't win the $20,000, he says he was proud to represent Kansas City and KCFD.

“I will always cook, I will always cook. If I don`t cook for the guys, I`m gonna get beat!” says Pham with a laugh.

Here is one of his popular recipes. It’s the one he cooked on the show.

Pham's Banh Mi grilled pork sandwich

Banh Mi Vietnamese grilled pork sandwiches recipe

Makes 4 to 6 servings

One to two pounds of pork tenderloin, slice into one-inch slice, pound out flat, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides, put into a medium size bowl, and set aside.

Marinade for the pork: Put 2 cups of olive oil in a blender with 3 cloves of garlic, 1 bunch of green onions, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (Maggie's seasoning sauce recommended), 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Blend on medium speed.

Let the pork tenderloin soak in the marinade at room temperature for half an hour before grilling.

Recipe for pickled carrots and onions: 1 pound of julienne sliced carrots, 1 small onion thinly sliced, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 bunch of roughly chopped cilantro, mixed all together in a bowl and set aside.

Grill the pork at medium heat. It takes about only about 5 minutes because it's thinly sliced.

1 long loaf of French baguette bread, put in the oven at 350 for 5 minutes or until nice and crispy around the edges.

Slice the bread in half the long way. Lay out the pork on the bread and garnish it with the pickled carrots, and a little dash of the soy sauce if needed and some sriracha hot sauce if you want to kick it up another notch.

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