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Joseph T. Bonanno Jr.  

New York City Fire Department Veteran; Nutritionist, Trainer & Author of "The Healthy Firehouse Cookbook"

Joseph Bonanno Jr. is a 21 year veteran of The New York City Fire Department. He comes from a family of firefighters, both his father, Joseph T. Bonanno, Engine 88 FDNY and brother Michael Bonanno, Ladder 7 FDNY were firefighters. While a firefighter, Joe became certified as a fitness trainer and nutritionist with certifications from N.Y.U, 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, Bonanno 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.

To establish himself in the culinary field, Bonanno 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, The Florida State Iron Chef Competition.

Bonanno has appeared several times on "Live with Regis", "Martha Stewart" ,"The Today Show", "Good Morning America", "FOX N.Y." and many others. He has been featured in the New York Times, The Daily News, Eating Well and Bon Appetite.

Upon leaving the fire service, Bonanno received his Culinary/Chefs Degree with honors from the Culinary Academy of Long Island, doing internships at two of Long Islands top restaurants. Bonanno also teaches at the A La Carte cooking school in Lynbrook, NY.

Bonanno recently completed a first season of Firehouse Kitchen/ American Firehouse Cuisine. Joe gives culinary demonstrations and nutrition and fitness classes for the fire service. In August of 2017, Bonanno launched an exciting new TV series airing on The Battalion TV Network. He also airs a local radio show called "The Healthy Firehouse" in Clearwater, FL.

Speech Topics


A two-part (nutrition/exercise) seminar geared for first responders but applicable to everyone. Approach is common sense, easy to follow and presented with enthusiasm and humor.


Survival from the devastating physical aspects of trauma is first. It's survival of the longer term mental aspects that is the true challenge. The goal is not just survive but eventually thrive, a long but worthy process. The use of perspectives, help, both professional, support groups and even humor can assist in surviving and thriving even the worst of disasters.

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