It’s not that often that a bad-ass chef comes in from out of town to guest chef at a local restaurant. Actually, it’s a rarity, which is surprising. To think that Buffalo sits on an international border, and we have some of the world’s top chefs on our doorstep, you would think that there are missed opportunities for some sort of chef-exchange. There is one local restaurant that is getting the ball rolling as far as this idea goes.
In an unprecedented move, chef Martin Danilowicz (Martin Cooks) has invited Torontonian chef Matt Blondin to come to Buffalo for an evening and guest chef at his restaurant. Blondin readily agreed, citing the opportunity for both chefs to introduce their restaurants to a completely foreign customer base. This type of relationship between the two restaurants could possibly open the doors for additional doors to open for top chefs in the future. After all, Blondin is considered one of the best chefs in his domain, and has an arsenal of highly respected restaurants under his belt.
“We are very lucky that Buffalo is in such close proximity to Toronto and its internationally renowned restaurants,” said Danilowicz. “So you can imagine how proud and excited we are at Martin Cooks to be collaborating with famous chef, Matt Blondin, who you may know from such restaurants as, RAIN, ARCADIA, BAREFOOT BISTRO, MOMOFUKU DAISHU, COLBORNE LANE, MONSOON & LUCE to name a few. I am very much looking forward to helping Matt prepare a 10 course meal which will be paired with wines from around the world on November 4th at Martin Cooks. While this particular event has sold out, we are hoping that this relationship will be the beginning of a relationship that will enhance the exploration of foods and restaurants between Buffalo and Toronto. In this instance, this is going to be a culinary and creative explosion of talent that we welcome to Buffalo.”
If you think that the relationship between these two chefs is all about Martin Cooks, it’s not. Blondin is excited to introduce Buffalonians to his culinary skills, in hopes that those who experience his food venture out of Buffalo to spend an evening at a new restaurant called Junk, that has an opening planned for January 2015.
Once again, I’ve referenced it before – if Buffalo is to seriously thrive we must become a more regional city. In the grand scheme of things, the mega region, TorBuffChesterTon Falls, holds the key to Buffalo’s ability to compete with the rest of the country. “I’ve been eating at Matt’s restaurants for years,” Danilowicz explained. “Restaurants such as Momofuko are mind blowing. It’s a whole different category of restaurants. He’s studied, he’s practiced, and he sets the bar for food in Toronto. It’s a coup that we have him coming to Buffalo, even for an evening (and hopefully more down the road).”
Blondin is currently partnered with Food Dudes, and is the Executive chef of the MBA Restaurant Group, which is planning on opening RAZA and JUNK (see here) in the near future. Look for sightings of Blondin in Buffalo by joining the Martin Cooks Facebook group (see here).