SEASON 1 CASTING
DINNER BUDGET BATTLE
Manny is a native of south Florida, where he grew up watching his firefighter father cook for his firehouse in Miami. He desperately wanted to follow in his father's footsteps, so Manny became a firefighter as soon as he could.
Whether making dinner with his grandmother or baking desserts with his mom as a child, Manny is grateful to have had the chance to create memories so rich that he can still smell both of their kitchens. From cooking with his father at the firehouse to cooking for his own fire department colleagues, Manny's identity as a foodie continues to evolve.
Known as Manny Fresh in the kitchen because his food is always so fresh, Manny knows how to make his budget go a long way at the firehouse because he has no other choice. He is often found cooking for anywhere from 12 to 22 firefighters at a time.
At the firehouse, Manny loves to say that he balls on a budget. Since he has been cooking for so long, Manny knows all the tricks and hacks to get the most bang for his buck. He loves to create his own spice mixes and makes garlic aioli from scratch along with swapping out inexpensive cuts of meat.
Manny has entered several local food competitions and he is known to bring the heat. He is the chili cook-off winner 2 years running as well at the reigning BBQ champ when he competed against other public safety officers.
Has previously appeared on Cutthroat Kitchen in 2014, Masterchef in 2016 and Food Network Star in 2018.