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Spirit of Acadiana: The Cooking Fireman

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Posted at 7:57 PM, May 24, 2021

LAFAYETTE, La. — Some of the best stories we find are the ones where you go for one reason and you find a story behind the story. Here at Lafayette Fire Station Number Nine, we could talk about a firefighter named Coby Bailey, but Coby Bailey is also on his way to becoming a master chef.

Here’s the latest recording: "So, today, we’re gonna’ show you how to make those beignets. They might be better than Café' Du Monde's beignets,” says Bailey to cameraman (and fellow fireman Josh).

“Today's recipe was my great-grandmother’s, which was passed on to her mom and my mom and now to me.”

He's 50-year old Captain Coby Bailey of the Lafayette Fire Department, and just over a year ago, one of his young firemen talked about having a You Tube channel.

“I was like, ‘Man, you need to do a cooking show, a firehouse cooking, and show 'em how we do cooking in south Louisiana. He was like, ‘You do that; I'll do mine, and we'll see how that goes’.”

How it goes is having nearly a thousand subscribers to his nearly 25 CAPTAIN COBY'S CAJUN COOKING videos.

“The response I got from everybody: ‘Love the video; whatcha’ doing next? What else? How about we try this?’”

Cooking at a fire station can serve as a team-building experience. Sure the food is great, and the influences for his menu are pretty varied.

“Being a fireman you learn from your captain, or the driver and they learn from their moms,” explains Bailey. “You get a variety of different flavors; it's not just Cajun food or creole food but it's also soul food. You get to blend all of these things in there and kind of make it your own.”

His mom says Coby always showed an interest in cooking and now, with retirement not so far away, what about transitioning into an international cooking star for the Food Network or Cooking Channel?

“I would love to do that. That would be fantastic,” he smiles. “I'm pretty close to retirement, so I'll need something to do. That would be fantastic if that would happen.”

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