Florida chef honors promise to cook for every firehouse in the state

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After losing a firefighter friend in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Rob Scambia decided to give back to first responders the best way he knew -- through food.

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"That big tragedy took an impact on me and so I made a promise that I'd go cook for hopefully all of Florida," Scambia, a trained chef, told ABC News' David Muir.

The man who people affectionately call "Chef Rob" has traveled to make dinner for hungry firefighters in fire station kitchens all over the Sunshine State. He has been to 125 firehouses so far and counting -- all to honor his friend, a firefighter who died in the attack on the World Trade Center.

"What you can give and what you can give back is that joy from other people ... That's what I'm doing this for," Scambia told Muir.

His effort has not gone unnoticed. Firefighters he has cooked for teamed up with facial-tissue manufacturer Kleenex to make one of Chef Rob's dreams come true. Taking the recipes Scambia has collected over the years, the firefighters surprised him by publishing a cookbook by the chef. All proceeds will go toward helping firefighters whom Chef Rob is so committed to honor.

"Right now it's 100 percent going right to them," Scambia said of the book, aptly named "Hero's Cookbook."

World News Tonight with David Muir chose Chef Rob Scambia as Person of the Week on March 17, 2017.

You can find "Hero's Cookbook"


ABC News' Esther Castillejo contributed to this story.