Chef volunteers to cook at fire stations—but one day, he’s stunned when he enters the garage

This chef in Florida has been volunteering his free time at fire stations for more than a decade. One day, an officer took him to a garage, and the moment he entered, he couldn’t believe what he saw in front of him.

Chef Robert Scambia, affectionately called “Chef Rob,” from Clermont has been cooking elaborate meals for firefighters in Orange County for more than 15 years as a gesture to thank them for their selfless service. He first started cooking for these brave men after he befriended a firefighter in New York.

“I asked, ‘What can I do for you guys to thank you?’ He said, ‘We like food,’” Chef Rob told Inside Edition.

So, he started to send food over to his friend’s fire stations.

“Never in 27 years [as a firefighter] have I been at a station where we didn’t sit down and eat together,” Orange County Fire Rescue Lt. Derek Alligood told Orlando Sentinel. “People drop by and give cookies, but Chef Rob serves six-course meals.”


But then tragically, his friend passed away while saving lives on the 9/11 terrorist attack. Rob then made a promise to cook for all fire stations in Florida and wished to launch his own cookbook one day. Almost 10 years ago, he started compiling his recipes, and finished his cookbook in 2006 with 60 recipes.

He had only one published copy of his dream cookbook that he used to take along with him while cooking at different fire stations. “I had the cookbook done, but I never had the funds to put it together,” he told Inside Edition.

One day, he received a call from Station 83 to come early to make a special lunch. “I said I’ll be there at about 9 in the morning to start cooking,” Rob said. “I got 32 pounds of fish to cook, plus the fish sauce, plus I have the potato souffle. They also like the crab rangoons.”

He thought it was a normal day until he arrived and saw cameras everywhere. Alligood told him that a camera crew was there to film a documentary on firefighters. But in fact, they were there to record Rob’s reaction to the surprise planned by the firefighters along with Kleenex, a popular paper-tissue brand.


At 4 p.m., Alligood took Rob to the garage. And the moment the door was opened, Rob saw OCFR firefighter Maria Bernard holding a copy of his published cookbook, standing among the boxes containing his books.

“This is for you,” Bernard said. “We’re so thankful for everything you do, but we couldn’t have done it without a few other people.”

Rob couldn’t believe it, but a better surprise was waiting for him. A firetruck then pulled out of the bay to reveal dozens of firefighters cheering for him.

“It was totally amazing,” Rob told Inside Edition. “There were all these piles of books, and boxes with my picture.”

Rob got a lovely surprise for his selfless efforts from the brave heroes themselves who risk their lives to serve our society! Good deeds never go to waste, and this beautiful story is yet another example that proves it.

Watch this heartwarming video below!

Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot | Inside Edition.

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