By: Buffalo Foodie
When asked, “It’s sort of like Iron Chef: Buffalo”, is how I typically begin to describe Nickel
City Chef, one of the hottest new events happening in Buffalo this summer. Starting there makes sense, as the Nickel
City Chefs will battle challengers by preparing three dishes, utilizing a
secret ingredient, in under an hour. Those dishes will be awarded points by a
panel of judges comprised of industry professionals and area celebrities.
That’s where the similarities begin to dwindle. There’s a live audience, and there’s
no Chairman Kaga, though WBFO’s Bert Gambini will be hosting with Seabar’s Chef
Mike Andrzejewski on-hand to provide technical tidbits and insights.
Nickel City Chef is a production of Feed Your Soul, a
company founded by former Buffalo Rising Yum Editor, Christa Glennie
Seychew. Feed Your Soul specializes in developing
and producing public and private culinary events in the hopes of promoting the
many food and agri-tourism opportunities Glennie Seychew feels are here in WNY.
The specific focus of Nickel City Chef is threefold: to drive
more of our region’s restaurant dollars to locally-owned businesses, to promote
the WNY culinary scene, and to raise awareness of our region’s agricultural
bounty. Unlike the popular television show it has borrowed from, this aspect of
Nickel City Chef gives the project a distinct local flavor.
“My goal,” Glennie Seychew said, “is to elevate the
perception of Buffalo’s culinary scene.
I’d like people from outside of Buffalo, as well as our own residents, to
understand the magnificent culinary abilities of some of our area chefs. There will always be room for wings, pizza
and eggplant parm, but it’s not all that we have to offer, and I’m surprised and
saddened by the number of people I encounter who are not familiar with the
“restaurant revolution” our city has experienced in the last few years.”
The Nickel City Chef events take place in the fully-equipped
loft showrooms of Amherst Street’s Artisan Kitchens & Baths. NCC competitions are scheduled on a monthly
basis starting in June and ending in September.
Tickets for the entire summer season go on sale today and
are expected to sell out quickly.
For$20, attendees will enjoy catered snacks and receive a coupon for one
free drink at the cash bar. A
portion of the Summer 2009 ticket sales will go to the Food Bank of NWY.
The schedule is listed below:
Sunday, June 21st– Nickel City Chef I
Nickel City Chef Krista Van Wagner, chef and owner of Curly’s Grill, will
compete against Challenger Chef Brian Mietus from Bacchus Wine Bar &
Restaurant, in the inaugural Nickel City Chef event on Father’s Day.
Sunday, July 19th–
Nickel City Chef II
Nickel City Chef JJ Richert, chef and owner of Torches, will go
head-to-head with Chef Joseph Fenush III, the Chef de Cuisine at Park Country
Sunday, August 23rd–
Nickel City Chef III
Nickel City Chef Paul Jenkins, Executive Chef and managing partner of
Tempo, will face Chef Bruce Wieszala, Executive Chef at
Verbena, on August 23rd.
Sunday, September 20th–
Nickel City Chef IV
Nickel City Chef Adam Goetz, chef/owner of SAMPLE, will compete against
former schoolmate, Chef Kate Elliott. Kate has recently opened her own venture,
Juniper, loBy: Buffalo Foodie
For more information on the event, chefs, and challengers, and ticketing
locations, visit www.nickelcitychef.com
Photo: On the set with Nickel City
Chef Adam Goetz of SAMPLE restaurant, Buffalo News writer Andrew Galarneau and
Nelson Starr, host of All Access Pass.