Saturday, March 13, 2010

Penzeys Is Here!

The long wait is over! I never thought I’d see the day when we in Buffalo would have our very own Penzeys Spices store. But that long awaited day is here. Penzeys Spices opened their door to customers this weekend and the Elmwood Avenue location looks great.

I first learned about Penzeys many years ago while watching Food Network’s live TV program “Cooking Live Prime Time with Sara Moulton”. She often sourced Penzeys for the show's spices and I began mail ordering from them. With stores in cities nationwide, they carry a vast array of herbs, spices and other seasoning ingredients. Penzeys supplies restaurants and delights home cooks with products that are at their peek of freshness.

Three years ago on a trip to Pittsburgh I stopped in the Penn Avenue location of Penzeys and talked with the store manager Frank. I got to know Frank from my frequent shopping pilgrimages, so he knew I’d be excited by the prospect of a Buffalo location. He mentioned Penzeys was looking at a few neighborhoods in the city of Buffalo and we discussed potential locations. Long story short, we have our store! And it was worth the wait.

Whether you are an avid cook or know someone who likes to cook this is the store for you.

Penzeys Spices
783 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14222
Mon. - Sat. 10:00am - 6:00pm
Sun. 11:00am - 5:00pm

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nickel City Chef Season Two - Richert Versus Raimondi

“Western New York is a food makers and food lover’s just doesn’t know it yet.”
--Patrick Lango, farmer, White Cow Dairy (Nickel City Chef Season One Secret Ingredient Sponsor)

Last week Nickel City Chef celebrated its first show of its 2010 series. This competition featured a secret ingredient made by a homegrown, hometown food manufacturer: Sorrento.

Ricotta cheese took center stage as Nickel City Chef Adam Goetz of Sample Restaurant took on Challenging Chef Ross Warhol of the Chautauqua Institution's Athenaeum. Both chefs have a penchant for molecular gastronomy techniques, and each of them delivered three spectacular dishes. Warhol’s warm Ricotta Plaque with shaved vegetable salad, chorizo vinaigrette and tomato marmalade cornet was a show stopper, but Goetz’s counter with a stunning and ambitious Ricotta Tasting really blew the judges away. They had a very difficult time choosing a winner, but in the end, Nickel City Chef Adam Goetz took home the trophy!

Watch the video here to see more about this exciting event.

Nickel City Chef’s 2010 season has just begun, with a total of eight shows scheduled through the month of June. This Sunday you can catch Nickel City Chef JJ Richert of Torches versus Challenging Chef Carmelo Raimondi of Carmelo’s in Lewiston.
This show is almost sold out, but you can get tickets to it or any of the other Nickel City events by clicking here.

About Nickel City Chef:

Nickel City Chef takes place in one of the city’s best kept secrets–a fully restored turn-of-the-century warehouse on Buffalo’s West Side, the home of Artisan Kitchens & Baths. Completely outfitted with two competition-worthy kitchens, this unique setting is the ideal location for this exciting hyper-local cooking competition.

At each event, a Nickel City Chef and his or her challenger (each representing a locally-owned independent business) must complete three dishes in under an hour with each dish showcasing a secret ingredient. They employ classic and modern techniques in order to demonstrate their skills and personal cooking philosophy. All of Nickel City Chef’s secret ingredients always come from right here in Western New York!

A panel of professionals act as judges to determine which chef prepares the most technically perfect, creative and delicious cuisine. The audience enjoys catered snacks and delivers their own vote for their favorite chef of the day. With seating for nearly 200, Nickel City Chef events provide guests with an exciting, uniquely WNY cooking experience. With four cameras mounted in our pro kitchens and over a dozen flat screen monitors, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

**Nickel City Chef is a Feed Your Soul production.

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 traveling in WNY, but are a fundamental component to Buffalo’s renaissance. Nickel City Chef is only one of Feed Your Soul’s projects, see the Feed Your Soul website for a current schedule.