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Nickel City Chef spotlights unexpected local ingredient – saltwater shrimp raised by Great Lakes Shrimp Company

The second Nickel City Chef of its final season has officially wrapped up, leaving two more to come. The battle, held this past Sunday, featured a rather unusual focal ingredient that Buffalonians are just now becoming familiar with – “saltwater shrimp raised by Great Lakes Shrimp Company“. Yes, Buffalo is home to a company that raises all natural, antibiotic free, live, locally grown salt water shrimp. Who knew?

The shrimp farm is located in the Niagara Frontier Food Terminal, Suite 154, at 1500 Clinton Street in Buffalo. According to their website, “The freshest shrimp you can find within 500 miles of Western New York. Harvests are scheduled weekly, and continue until stock is sold out. Pre-orders are recommended to assure the supply you want is available. Be sure to have a storage container for your iced shrimp (suggest a cooler) upon pick-up. We can also deliver in the Buffalo region for a modest fee.”

Now, this tidbit of information is transformational for WNY shrimp lovers who will be happy to have access to the same delicious shrimp that was the main ingredient in the Nickel City Chef competition, which is always highlighting locally produced ingredients. In this case, organizers certainly found a nice local catch to showcase.

As for the competition, the way that it works is that a challenging chef goes up against one of the Nickel City Chefs. Each of the chefs must complete three dishes in one hour, using the selected local ingredient. This past battle saw challenging chef Manuel Ocasio (The Crucible) facing 2018 James Beard Nominee and Nickel City Chef Victor Parra Gonzalez (Las Puertas). See the highlights below (winner announced at end of video):

Judges for the installment were:

  • Jeff Biesinger of Buffalo Spree magazine
  • Arthur Bovino, a NYC-based writer and author of the forthcoming book series, “Buffalo Everything”
  • Andrew Galarneau, food editor of The Buffalo News

Judging was based on:

  • Taste
  • Technical skill
  • Plating and appearance
  • Use of the secret ingredient
  • Creativity

The audience also gets to pick a favorite, which is then rewarded with a point. Thanks to everyone who participated, including the organizers, the chefs, the judges, and the live audience. And a special thanks goes to Great Lakes Shrimp Company for keeping Buffalo stocked with the freshest shrimp for miles and miles around. 

The show was held at Artisan Kitchens & Baths in Buffalo, NY, and hosted by Bert Gambini and Chef Edward Forster.

Tickets are still available to the competitions that remain in Nickel City Chef‘s final season

March 25, 2018 (Get tickets)

Nickel City Chef Adam Goetz of Craving


Executive Chef Satomi Smith, co-owner of Sato, Sato Ramen, and Sato Brewpub

Judges include: Food writers Caitlin Hartney (Buffalo Rising, Buffalo News), Janice Okun (Buffalo News, retired), and Regina Schrambling (freelance writer for many national publications)

April 8, 2018 (Get tickets)

Nickel City Chef Jennifer Boye


Sam Geyer and Matt Pauszek of Buffalo’s most innovative food truck, Lomo Lomo

Judges include: Comedian Kristen Becker, writer Alan Bedenko, and Chef Mark Mistriner (NFCI)

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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