Nickel City Chef Season 4 Begins

Kevin Telaak

Feed Your Soul, WNY’s culinary production company, is proud to present Western New York with Nickel City Chef’s fourth season, a four show series running from Feb. 20 – April 15th

Sunday’s competition features Nickel City Chef Krista Van Wagner of Curly’s versus Challenging Chef Frank Mercado, the Executive Chef of M&T Bank’s Executive Dining Room.

Following on the heels of the release of Nickel City Chef’s top-selling cookbook, tickets for this competition and the rest of the 2012 series sold out in less than 45 minutes.

Press and camera crews are encouraged to attend.  Please use the contact information above if you have any questions or are in need of hi-resolution photographs.

More information about Nickel City Chef is noted below the biographies of this week’s participants.  A full Season Four, 2012 schedule and video from past seasons can be found online at www.NickelCityChef.com


Nickel City Chef, Sunday February 19th

This Week’s Chefs were:


Nickel City Chef Krista Van Wagner
Chef/Owner, Curly’s–Buffalo, NY

Nickel City Chef Krista Van Wagner is a graduate CIA with experience in a variety of positions that called for her to work in Switzerland, the Caribbean and various regions of the U.S. Krista and her husband are the chef/owners of Curly’s, one of Buffalo’s most reputable fine dining establishments. Curly’s utilizes the Van Wagners’ passion for Caribbean food and their classical French training to provide diners with a unique and delicious experience. Curly’s success has led to growth–an expansion which included the addition of a banquet center and private dining room. In addition to the restaurant business the couple manufactures a line of sauces/condiments for use in the wholesale/retail sector. Chef Van Wagner and her husband reside in WNY with their 3 children.

Challenging Frank Mercado
Executive Chef, The M&T Executive Dining Room–Buffalo, NY

A graduate of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Frank Mercado’s lengthy resume includes some of Buffalo’s best restaurants—Oliver’s, Tsunami, and Siena among them. As Executive Chef for M&T Bank’s private Executive Dining Room, every day he creates a new menu featuring the world’s freshest ingredients. When not running the scratch kitchen for one of Buffalo’s most prestigious banks, he works shifts at both Torches and Sea Bar in order to keep his skills honed and his experiences varied.

This Week’s Judges:

John Bourdage

Consultant—Buffalo, NY


John Bourdage, of Bourdage Consulting, provides consultation on the improvement of interpersonal relationships through a renewed understanding of service and social skills. As a graduate of Ivor Spencer School for Butler Administration, Bourdage received training in manners, etiquette, food and wines, entertaining, and the fine arts.

Mary Ann Giordanno

Executive Chef and Season Three Winner, Creekview—Buffalo, NY


Mary Ann Giordanno describes her cuisine as “American fusion,” drawing from Mediterranean, Italian, European, and Asian influences. With more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry, she has been the Executive Chef at Williamsville’s Creekview Restaurant since 1997. As a chef instructor at Auburn Watson Culinary School, Giordanno shares the passion for cooking she learned from a childhood she describes as being “surrounded by food and life in the kitchen.”

Nelson Starr

Musician and Host, Buffalo. For Real TV—Buffalo, NY


Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee Nelson Starr is best known as one of Buffalo’s most influential musicians. Recently, Nelson has turned his keen acumen toward Buffalo’s food scene, bringing celebrity chef and Travel Channel star Anthony Bourdain to Buffalo and hosting Buffalo. For Real TV. Starr has dedicated himself to exploring and revealing WNY’s most treasured cultural gems, hidden hangouts, and beloved pastimes, all with a dose of self-deprecating humor and naive charm.

About Nickel City Chef:

Nickel City Chef pits two chefs against one another in a culinary fete not unlike the popular television show Iron Chef America. At each event, one of our four Nickel City Chefs faces a qualified challenger in a race to complete three technically perfect, innovative dishes featuring the secret ingredient. Because of our dedication to New York, our secret ingredient is always an item that it grown or produced in Western New York.

A panel of qualified judges rates each chef’s offerings using a scoring method that accounts for skill, flavor, appeal and creativity.  This exciting and unique series takes place inside one of Buffalo’s best kept secrets, a turn-of-the-century warehouse on Buffalo’s emerging West Side. Formerly a wood-­burning stove company, Artisan Kitchens & Baths is Western New York’s premiere appliance retailer. Its second floor is a loft showroom completely outfitted with side-by-­side $100,000 competition‑worthy kitchens.

The 200 attendees at each event watch the battle unfold live while sampling catered snacks.  The audience’s ability to enjoy the event is enhanced by the 10 flat screen panel televisions that hang throughout the location providing close-ups of both chefs’ stoves, work spaces and plating areas. Extra points are awarded to the chef that earns the respect of the audience.

Our Nickel City Chefs include Chef Adam Goetz of SAMPLE, Brian Mietus of Bacchus, Chef JJ Richert of Torches and Chef Krista Van Wagner of Curly’s. 

Many thanks to the other sponsors: Jenn Air, SubZero, Wolf, GE Monogram, Cutco, Wegmans, Mansion on Delaware Avenue, D’Avolio, Independent Health Foundation/Healthy Options Buffalo, Buffalo Cheese Traders, the Buffalo chapter of the Chaine de Rotisseurs, Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops, Buffalo Spree and Kemper Cabinets

Nickel City Chef Season 4

Kevin Telaak

 

Nickel City Chef Season Four Dates & Ticket Sales Announced!

Nickel City Chef’s production company, Feed Your Soul, has been hard at work lining up secret ingredients, special guest judges and challengers for our fourth season of cooking competitions which will feature celebrity judges, WNY’s top chefs, and homegrown ingredients.

Following on the heels of Western New York’s hottest selling holiday release, Nickel City Chef: Buffalo’s Finest Chefs & Ingredients, we anticipate tickets for all four shows in 2012 to sell out within 36 hours.

Taking place in the stunning loft showroom of Buffalo’s Artisan Kitchens & Baths, Season Four’s schedule of dates is listed below. Tickets for the 2012 season go on sale at noon Friday, January 6th. Tickets are $38 each and include catered gourmet snacks and access to a cash bar during the event. We do not recommend this event for children under 16.

Links to online ticketing will be available on our website at NickelCityChef.com.

Many thanks to our sponsors: Wegmans, D’Avolio, Mansion on Delaware Avenue, Independent Health, the Buffalo chapter of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, and our partners, Buffalo Spree, Artisan Kitchens & Baths, and Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops.

Below we have noted the 2012 schedule, as well as Nickel City Chef’s Mission Statement. Please contact us if you are in need of hi-resolution photos or video footage. Each show is hosted by WBFO’s Bert Gambini and Buffalo’s top chef, Chef Mike Andrzejewski of Sea Bar.


Sunday, February 19th

Nickel City Chef Krista Van Wagner ofCurly’s versus Challenging Chef Frank Mercado of M&T Bank’s Private Executive Dining Room

 —–

Sunday, March 4th

Nickel City Chef Brian Mietus of Bacchus versus Challenging Chef Dunbar Berdine of Black Rock Kitchen & Bar 

——

Sunday, March 25th

Nickel City Chef Adam Goetz of Sample versus Challenging Chef Christopher Daigler of Encore

——

Sunday, April 10th

Nickel City Chef JJ Richert of Torches versus Chef Chris Dorsaneo of Lloyd Taco Truck


 

The Mission

Feed Your Soul is proud to present Western New York with its fourth season of Nickel City Chef, a unique and entertaining event designed to expose the general public to some of our area’s top chefs and farmers.

Nickel City Chef is as much about Western New York as it is about cooking. We are privileged to live in an area with a rich history enhanced by hearty ethnic foods and one of America’s greatest contributions to casual cuisine—the chicken wing. And, while these culinary icons are as important to Buffalo as professional sports teams and world-class architecture, in culinary terms, they are not all that we have to offer. In kitchens all over the city chefs with technical skills, adventurous natures, and pristine palates are preparing well-composed plates that would dizzy even the harshest critic. Nickel City Chef is designed to provide an arena in which these talented individuals can showcase dishes that may be too daring or complicated to warrant a permanent position on a dinner menu.

Anyone who spends time in Buffalo quickly realizes that our region is unique. Independently-owned restaurants appear at nearly every turn in our city, but many of our most dedicated foodies are unfamiliar with the breathtaking bounty that grows mere miles from our doorsteps. With over 1,300 farms in Erie County and more than 6,000 others in our region’s other counties, we are a notable contributor to New York States’s well-established annual yield of apples and milk. But what you may find surprising is that we also have farmers who grow a wide variety of premium crops. Produce such as mushrooms, artichokes, kiwi fruit, and dozens of varieties of garlic and heirloom tomatoes aren’t unheard of in these parts. Still others raise unique breeds of hogs and cows, collect honey, or make artisanal cheeses. By committing to using a locally raised or produced item as our secret ingredient in every challenge, Nickel City Chef hopes to enlighten and encourage pride in our region’s fantastic agricultural abilities.

Investing your hard-earned food dollars in Western New York, whether it is at locally owned restaurant or in your local supermarket’s produce section, has a positive, long-term impact on our regional economy. Did you know that spending your money with a locally-owned restaurant keeps 3x more money, here, circulating in Western New York than it does when you eat at a chain? Additionally, locally owned businesses typically reinvest in the local economy at a 60% higher rate than a chain.


About Feed Your Soul

Feed Your Soul is a company dedicated to developing and executing both private and public events focused on the food and agriculture of Western New York. Feed Your Soul was founded by food editor Christa Glennie Seychew, whose firm belief that agritourism and culinary tourism should not only be a major aspect of traveling in WNY, but are a fundamental component to Buffalo’s renaissance. Nickel City Chef is only one of Feed Your Soul’s projects, see the Feed Your Soul website for a closer look at this homegrown WNyY business (www.eatlocalbuffalo.com).

The Connected Lifestyle Event

Kevin Telaak
“The Connected Lifestyle” 
Test drive the most exciting lifestyle technology available in WNY

Open and Free to the General Public, Press and Industry Professionals
Thursday, June 2nd
Hosted by Artisan Kitchens & Baths
200 Amherst Street
Buffalo, NY 14207

Cupcakes & Coffee Open House
11:30am – 6:00pm

– Experience modern technology’s ability to seamlessly connect work and home
– Tie entertainment, family and lifestyle together using modern technology
– Enhance your lifestyle with modern convenience
– See high-tech solutions for home security


Guests will experience:

 ● Largest private 3D Screen in WNY ●  Smart House system on-site ● Wireless Remote Light Control ● Automated Building Control ●

 ● Connect to your home from anywhere ● Integrates with your Apple Products to Control Homes and Business ●

 ● View your Security Cameras on your Device from Anywhere in the World ●
 
Featuring hands-on demonstrations from: Crestron Electronics, Digital Projection, Advance Furniture, Sound Product Marketing, Park Place Installations, and Artisan Kitchens & Baths

Whole Hog Butchering & Charcuterie Workshop

Kevin Telaak
Whole Hog Butchering & Charcuterie Workshop
Tuesday, April 19th, 5:30 pm

With practice and training, Chef Bruce Wieszala has mastered the ability to utilize an entire hog so as not to waste a single scrap. Using Italian, French, and American butchery techniques, he is able to yield the most desired cuts. Additionally, he deftly applies charcuterie techniques by smoking, curing, and otherwise preserving raw pork in order to create delicious items such as sausage, capicola, guanciale, porchetta di testa, bacon, and more.

This unique workshop will begin at 5:30 p.m. with delicious snacks and a cash bar furnished by Bistro Europa. The butchery demonstration will commence at 6pm, where Chef Wieszala will illustrate the step-by-step breaking down of an entire heritage breed hog from Lockport’s T-Meadow Farms, followed by recipe demonstrations for half a dozen preservation methods. Samples will be supplied by Spar’s European Sausage Shop. Guests will receive a recipe and resources booklet.

Artisan Kitchens & Baths features a fully-outfitted state-of-the-art kitchen and a dozen overhead flat screen monitors, insuring a good view from every seat in the house.

Similar events have been held around the country in progressive cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Now we have the chance to see a Buffalo chef demonstrate this disappearing art using a pasture-raised heritage breed hog from our own backyard. Don’t miss this singular opportunity!

Chef Bruce Wieszala is a Buffalo native who returned home a few years ago after spending a decade in Atlanta. There he worked in the kitchens of that city’s best dining destinations including Emeril’s, the James Beard award winning JOEL, Woodfire Grill, the 5-star Mobile-rated Seeger’s and Restaurant Eugene. During his time in the south he had the opportunity to compete on Iron Chef America as a sous to challenger Chef Linton Hopkins. He also appeared on the Food Network’s Good Eats, hosted by Alton Brown.

Since returning to Buffalo Wieszala has worked in several area restaurants, most notably as the executive chef at the former Verbena, and now in the kitchen of the promising Bistro Europa.

Regardless of his position, Wieszala’s commitment to sourcing food from local farmers has been a trademark of his passionate cooking style. His skill as a chef/butcher has led him to teach several butchery workshops at culinary schools and chef conferences around the region. On his recent trip to Italy he worked beside the world’s most famous butcher, Dario Cecchini.

With the increasing popularity of homesteading, eating local, artisanal food, and food preparations, this is the perfect time for Chef Wieszala to share his knowledge and insight with us—the homecooks, chefs, culinary students, and foodies of WNY.

Artisan Kitchens & Baths

200 Amherst Street

Buffalo NY 14207

www.thewholehogbuffalo.com

Tickets:$55 for sale at  https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/156129

Come Dine With Me – WNY

Kevin Telaak

Come Dine with Me – WNY Showcases Restaurants & the Food Service Industry in WNY

This locally produced television series airs weekly on CW-23, WNLO-TV

Artisan Kitchens and Baths is pround to be sponsoring the half hour program: Come Dine with Me – WNY!  This weekly half-hour show takes viewers behind-the-scenes of local restaurants and is hosted by restaurateur Russell Salvatore and co-hosted by Jan Ferington.  Beginning April 3rd, the program airs Sunday evenings at 10:30 on CW23 WNLO.          

The mission of “Come Dine with Me – WNY!” is twofold.  Firstly, its goal is to promote local restaurants and encourage viewers to choose those establishments when dining out.  Secondly, it is to share recipes and techniques with viewers to improve their at-home dining experience.

The show features four local celebrity chefs; Marco Sciortino (Marco’s), Krista Van Wagner (Curly’s), Tucker Curtin (The Steer, Lake Effect Diner and Dug’s Dive) and Art Christy (Frontier Catering).  Each chef has an engaging personality that easily wins over our television audience said executive producer, Michael Fantaske. “And each chef is qualified and comfortable working side by side with other local chefs from some of the areas finest restaurants who are part of the series” he added.

Western New York is home to more great restaurants at the best value for the dollar, than any other part of the country. “Come Dine with Me – WNY” is a real opportunity to promote the area by capitalizing on that unique strength.

Each episode will showcase local restaurants, take video tours and highlight recipes and techniques in the show’s studio kitchen located here at Artisan Kitchen’s and Baths at 200 Amherst St. in Buffalo, NY.  Central to each episode is our “Home Invasion” segment in which our celebrity chefs invade a different residence each week and get to prepare dinner side by side with the home owners.

“Western New York has so many wonderful restaurants.  Unfortunately, many of us drive right by those places on our way to a national chain for dinner. This show gives viewers an opportunity to get to know the best of what’s available locally,” said Salvatore, host of the show.

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