Retired LA Cop Cooks His Way to Menu

Former SWAT officer wins comfort-food competition with macaroni and cheese

The Los Angeles Police Department's official blog is trumpeting the success of 58-year-old, retired SWAT officer Rick Massa, whose skill with a skillet won him top honors in the Comfort Food category of the Food Network's "Ultimate Recipe Showdown," and will put him on the menu in 600 US restaurants.

If interviewing cops on and off for the past 20 years has taught me anything it's that law enforcement officers know how and where to eat. But cook?

Apparently Massa's got it down.

A resident of Simi Valley -- which might as well be called "Copland" for all the LAPD officers who call the suburb home -- Massa's "Cheese Lover’s 5 Cheese Mac & Cheese" will soon be a featured item on T.G.I.Friday's menus as "Gourmet Mac n' Five Cheese."

The 35-year veteran of the LAPD was a member of the SWAT unit for 25 years. Among his many high-profile encounters during that time was the famed North Hollywood Shootout in 1997, a bloody confrontation often compared to a shootout in the film Heat, which was released two years prior.

He's featured online in a Food Network video.

-- TJ Sullivan

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