Nickel City Chef – SEASON 8 Is Announced

Kevin Telaak

2016 will mark the eighth season of Nickel City Chef, the Buffalo/Niagara region’s premiere cooking competition.

Described by many as Buffalo’s own version of Iron Chef, Nickel City Chef is as much about Western New York as it is about cooking and entertainment. We are privileged to live in an area with a rich history enhanced by hearty ethnic foods, a wildly varied agricultural bounty, and one of America’s greatest contributions to casual cuisine—the chicken wing.

Nickel City Chef – Battle Bread

Kevin Telaak

Nickel City Chef Battle Bread, featuring pain rustique, traditional French baguette, Grain Up! sourdough, and vollkornbrot from Elm Street Bakery in East Aurora, NY, took place on March 8, 2015. Nickel City Chef Brian Mietus of Bacchus Restaurant and his sous chef, Soichiro Kimura, took on Challenger Dustin Murphy of Tabree, and his sous chef Adrian Bylewski.

Judges included Izabela Wojcik, Director of House Programming for the James Beard Foundation, chef Brad Rowell of Elm Street Bakery, and chef Corey Kley of Rue Franklin, a winner from season six.

The show was held at Artisan Kitchens & Baths in Buffalo, NY and hosted by Bert Gambini, Chef Mike Andrzjewski (Seabar, Tappo, Cantina Loco, and Bourbon & Butter), and special guest, chef Adam Goetz of Craving.

Buffalo/Niagara’s live take on the hit show “Chopped” at Artisan Kitchens and Baths

Kevin Telaak

NEWS CAMERAS, PHOTOJOURNALISTS, AND PRESS WELCOME
Show runs from 6pm-8:15pm on Weds 11/7 at 200 Amherst Street, Buffalo

Feed Your Soul , the Buffalo-based production company behind the hit Nickel City Chef series (soon to enter its fifth year), presents its newest program, Nickel City Firing Line!

Firing Line features cooks and chefs from WNY restaurants, battling it out in front of a live audience in a format not unlike the top-rated Food Network series, “Chopped.”

In this three-part series (including two preliminary matches and one finale), accomplished young chefs will compete to complete several successful dishes under difficult time restraints and utilizing unknown ingredients furnished by local farms and artisan foodmakers.

This event will take place in the stunning loft showroom of the west side’s Artisan Kitchens & Baths. Three competition-worthy kitchens face the audience seating area, suitable for 200 guests. A live camera beams images from the flame and sweat fueled competition kitchens onto flat screen monitors that hang above the audience, providing them with an up close and personal experience from any seat in the house. A cash bar and gourmet snacks are provided.

At each match, a panel of professional judges will select the winner, ultimately giving one young chef the chance to make a name for himself in the increasingly intense and exciting WNY food scene. The winners of each preliminary match will also walk away with Cutco’s popular Galley Set. Cutco, located in Olean, NY is the only company still manufacturing kitchen knives in the United States.

Hosted by Bert Gambini and Buffalo’s favorite chef, Mike Andrzejewski, Firing Line is sure to be a hit, just like its big sister, Nickel City Chef.

Firing Line is sponsored by Cutco and Artisan Kitchens & Baths.

Match One takes place on Wednesday, November 7th (link)

This Match is hosted by Bert Gambini, Chef Mike Andrzejewski, with special co-host Chef Adam Goetz (Sample)

Judges include Chef Ross Warhol (The Athenaeum), Kristen Becker (foodie and comedian), and Nelson Starr (Nickel City Chef judge)

 

Chef Teddy Bryant / Lloyd   Christopher Bryant, known to his friends as Teddy, is the sous chef for Lloyd Taco Truck. Prior to that, Bryant earned an Associates Degree from the Culinary Institute of America before working at some of the finest and busiest restaurants in the country. He began with an internship at Le Cirque in New York, before moving to Las Vegas where he worked as a butcher for the Venetian Hotel, as a grill cook for Nobhill in the MGM Grand, and as the sous chef of Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace, to name just a few of the esteemed listings on his resume. A Buffalo-native, Teddy credits his grandfather’s skills in the kitchen with inspiring him to become a chef.

Chef James Gehrke / Mike A at Hotel Lafayette  James Gehrke, currently in the kitchen at Mike A at Hotel Lafayette, has earned quite a reputation as a culinary competitor here in Buffalo two-time winner of the annual sous chef competition, held by Nickel City Chef at the Taste of Buffalo every year, and longtime sous chef to Nickel City Chef Adam Goetz, Gehrke may have more hands-on competition experience than all of our Firing Line competitors combined. Completely self-taught, Jimmy credits his abilities to the local chefs he has worked for who have taken the time to impart their knowledge to him.

Chef Jason LaMotte / Global Spectrum and The Conference & Event Center, Niagara Falls   Jason LaMotte is executive chef for Global Spectrum, The Conference & Event Center in Niagara Falls. He attended Paul Smith’s College, earning an Associates Degree in the Culinary Arts. Born in Western New York, he grew up in New Orleans, eventually becoming an Executive Chef for John Besh restaurants. His culinary style focuses on bold flavors and honest preparations, but his world travels have also influenced his approach. After stints as an executive chef under Gordon Ramsay in London and Eastern Europe, he became the regional executive chef for Hard Rock Cafe in the Czech Republic. LaMotte and his wife Petra have three children.

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Match Two takes place on Wednesday, November 14th

This Match is hosted by Bert Gambini, Chef Mike Andrzejewski, with special co-host Chef JJ Richert (Torches)
Judges include Chef Brian Mietus (Bacchus), Kevin Purdy (Buffalo Spree restaurant critic), and Don Burtless (BuffaloEats.org)

Chef Donald Cook / Sample    Donald Cook is the executive sous chef at Sample restaurant in Allentown. A graduate from the French Culinary Institute, Cook is a Buffalo native, who has recently returned from cooking in New York for the last five years. Cook, who feels that working clean and remaining professional are keys to his success, has worked at the Michelin-starred Rouge Tomate and as tournant under Chef Nate Appleman at Pulino’s. Cook’s firm belief that using proper technique and process when preparing food is just as important and the taste and quality of the final product.

Chef Daniel Kirby / Seabar   Daniel Kirby works as a sous chef at Buffalo’s four star Sea Bar. A western New York native he is a graduate from the ECC Culinary Arts program. His passion for fusing classic and modern techniques might be most evident in his employ at Sea Bar, where his knowledgeable, creative, and even-tempered skill set are put to the test on a daily basis. Influenced by his idols, Eric Ripert and Thomas Keller, Kirby works to insure that his work pays respect to each individual ingredient.

Chef Anthony Petrilli / Park Country Club    Anthony Petrilli can currently be found in the kitchen of our region’s most food-forward club, Park Country Club. A graduate of the ECC Culinary Arts program, Petrilli spent three months working in a restaurant on Italy’s Amalfi Coast before returning to the States. An 18-month stint in Toronto working for the lauded Oliver & Bonacini restaurant group taught him to work in an environment of well-executed systems and impeccable professionalism. Ambitious and passionate, Petrilli feels that growing up with a vegetable garden in his backyard taught him that food isn’t just sustenance, it can be divine.

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Finale to be held on Sunday, December 2nd, competitors TBA

This Match is hosted by Bert Gambini, Chef Mike Andrzejewski, with special co-host Chef Adam Goetz (Sample)
Judges include Julia Burke (Buffalo Spree restaurant critic), Andrew Galarneau (Buffalo News restaurant critic) and TBA

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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’s events focus on showcasing the bounty that is Western New York’s legacy.  Our company was founded on the firm belief that agritourism and culinary tourism should not only be a major aspect of living and traveling in WNY, but are a fundamental component to Buffalo’s renaissance.

October 24 – Buffalo/Niagara chefs make A Big FUSS over a farm in need

Kevin Telaak

Buffalo restaurants join together to support a small local farm

Over the past several years the idea of eating local has become popular here and elsewhere, and with it the desire to experience foods fresh from the farm in our local restaurants. But without a distribution system in place for local farmers, as demand has grown, only a few farms have been willing or able to truly embrace the effort and challenges required to work with restaurants. Those that have stayed the course have found it to be a profitable and rewarding choice–chefs can appreciate the subtle adaptations a farmer can make in the growing process to really enhance a particular food, and anyone who has seen a field weather a serious storm can grasp the mercurial nature and risk inherent in farming.

The handful of farms whose food can be found in the best Western New York restaurants are fundamental to the success most of these restaurants enjoy. Chef Steven Gedra of Bistro Europa (recently named #2 Favorite Retsaurant in WNY) is known as one of Buffalo’s most adventurous chefs, and while he is well-trained and a naturally creative person, he will tell anyone dining at his restaurant that much of his inspiration comes from the raw ingredients provided to him by his farm vendors.

Which is why he has committed himself to A Big FUSS, in co-operation with NATIONAL FOOD DAY, which will take place on Wednesday, October 24th at Artisan Kitchens & Baths in Buffalo’s emerging Grant/Amherst neighborhood. This event is designed to aid a single, small family farm. A bad season, a major illness, a car accident, a broken piece of farm equipment–these are the things that can begin the road to ruin for a small farm. Can most farms survive one bad season? Sure. Can most make it through a bad season coupled with some other sort of family loss or tragedy? No. Can Buffalo’s emerging restaurant scene afford to lose a single one of its year-round farm suppliers? Absolutely not.

So Gedra teamed up with Feed Your Soul Productions’ Christa Glennie Seychew in order to develop an annual event where all proceeds would go directly to underwriting a single struggling farm. “Farmers are proud, and they aren’t likely to accept charity, ” Seychew said, “but every year I know of at least one farmer who is really at a tipping point. So why not fix it? This is the City of Good Neighbors, after all.” So Gedra and Seychew have gathered several of their friends to stage A Big FUSS on Wednesday night at Artisan Kitchens and Baths on Amherst Street. Some of WNY’s top chefs will be on-hand, and the silent auction sports some truly mouth-watering items (see below).

“The best restaurants in town get 15-25 requests for donations every week. I don’t think people have any idea how much of the charity in this town comes straight from our restaurants,” said Seychew. She and several area chefs worked to gather donations to support another local farmer last year, “I can’t imagine a single year could go by when one of our 7,500 farms won’t need our help, or couldn’t move the local food scene forward with seed money for a greenhouse or another season-extending addition to their farm. So Steve and I are just going to make it happen, because we both see the direct effect that eating local has on our farms and on what we do.”

DJ Cutler will warm up the joint; admission is only $30 (tickets available online or at the door). Both Gedra and Seychew are excited to say that almost all of the costs have been covered by them and their fellow locavores, so all of the proceeds will go directly to one of Buffalo’s best farms. Big FUSS 2.0 is the second undertaking, the first netted 2.5 mortgage payments for a farm facing foreclosure.

Donations made by: Bistro Europa, Sample, Shango Bistro, Lloyd Taco Truck, Chautauqua’s Athenaeum Hotel, Carmelo’s, Park Country Club, Elm Street Bakery, Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile, Spar’s European Sausage, Promised Land CSA/Oles Family Farm, Painted Meadows, and T-Meadow Farm.

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