ALABASTER, Ala. (WIAT) – For the past 9 months, firefighter paramedic Bret Dunsker has been part of the Alabaster Fire family.  He told CBS 42 that he felt called to the fire service after his father passed away from a heart attack when he was younger. 

“I didn’t know how to do anything to help prevent that, so I just kind of saw it as a bit of a calling;” Dunsker explained, “be an EMT and go ahead and work up the ranks and become a firefighter.  I love it.”

However, Dunsker has a somewhat unusual prior employment history.  It’s made him very popular around the fire stations.  Dunsker is a classically trained chef.  More specifically, he trained under a French chef, which he said, still influences a lot of his creations. 

“[Echelon] taught me to always build flavors,” Dunsker said.  “It’s all about the sauce.  You can never use too much butter or heavy cream.”

In addition to responding to calls with the fire station, Dunsker now cooks for his coworkers (along with the assistance of his ‘sous chef’ Big Rob).  He said that some of his most popular dishes include chicken enchiladas and pork with a homemade Hawaiian sauce (and yes, we will post the sauce recipe below.)

Some of the CBS 42 Morning team was invited to lunch with the Alabaster Fire Department where we sample some of Chef Bret’s fare.  Watch the video above to see our experience. 

Chef Bret also gave us some great tips for shopping on a budget (he makes lunch and dinner at the firehouse for just 10 dollar a head!) and general cooking ideas.  We’re hoping to bring him back on the show, live, in the future to share some of his wisdom!  Check back often for updates.

Chef Bret’s Famous Hawaiian Sauce

12 oz pineapple juice

4.5 oz or 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

4.5 or 1/3 cup soy sauce

2″ piece cut ginger root (remove before serving!)

1 cup brown sugar (light)

Directions: Mix it all together, reduce with medium to low heat, stirring frequently to not burn the sugar.  Remove ginger root before serving.  Goes great on pork and chicken!