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 

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Sunday, March 25th

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

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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).

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