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.

WNY Cupcake Competition Features Local Bakeries at Artisan Kitchens and Baths

Kevin Telaak

Nickel City Cupcake Challenge is third in a series of baking/decorating challenges developed by Feed Your Soul, a Buffalo-based company that produces culinary competitions, farm tours, and more. (Previous events: Sweet & Spooky Cake Challenge, Buffalo Wedding Cake Challenge)

On November 4, 2012, nearly 200 audience members will pack the Artisan Kitchens & Baths loft showroom on Buffalo’s west side. A live, head-to-head baking competition will feature three of the region’s most creative and talented cupcake artists. Each baker will compete in two heats—the first, to present the judges and audience with their signature cupcake, the second, to bake and decorate original cupcakes utilizing a secret ingredient.

The audience will watch from their seats, which provide a great view of all three competitors, as well as up close shots from a roving camera which beams images onto the showroom’s dozen or more overhead flat panel monitors. Hosting the event is Buffalo personality Bert Gambini.

Elsewhere in the large refurbished 19th-century warehouse, guests can sample Lake Effect Ice Cream and snacks prepared by Sample restaurant. Each guest will also cast a vote for their favorite signature cupcake.

Nickel City Cake Challenge is an event designed to celebrate the art of baking and to drive home the idea that our region is flush with talented bakers who deserve the opportunity to truly showcase their talents in a public forum. The program also works to support small, independent businesses.

The 2012 Cupcake Challenge competitors include:

Justina Adams of The Buffalo Cakery ~ Buffalo
Genevieve Perryman of Cupcake Orchard ~ Orchard Park
Kelly Audette of Fairy Cakes Cupcakery ~Buffalo

The 2012 Cupcake Challenge judges include:

Brian Donaghy,
Criollo Group, Chocolatier, pastry chef, and two-time competitor on Food Network’s “Cake Challenge”
Alli Suriani,
BuffaloEats.org, Cupcake lover and part of duo behind Buffalo’s most popular food blog, Buffalo Eats.
Mark Mistriner, Niagara Culinary Center, Culinary Educator and the American Culinary Federation’s Northeast Chef of the Year

A limited number of tickets remain:  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/28116

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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 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. It is best known for its popular Nickel City Chef series, Cake Challenge, and annual farm tours.

WNY Culinary Competition offers sport/entertainment while supporting Buy Local ethos

Kevin Telaak

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.

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.

Match Two takes place on Wednesday, November 14th.

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.

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

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.

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

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