Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Chef, The Garden and The Mansion

In light of the recent Nickel City Chef Season Three opening event, I thought it to be an appropriate time to republish this story I wrote about Chef Jennifer Boye. Chef Boye was the challenger to Chef Krista Van Wagner of Curly's in the first of four events this season. It was a very close competition, only one point in favor of Chef Van Wagner.

This story was originally published August 10, 2008 on Buffalo Rising online. I could never have guessed that when I set out to interview Chef Boye that it would lead to my good fortune of making a new friend. A most pleasant surprise!

The Chef, The Garden and The Mansion

August 10th 2008 By Michael Franco

On a recent summer afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting with one of Buffalo’s leading chefs, Jennifer Boye. My visit with Jennifer took place in the Fireside Salon of The Mansion on Delaware Avenue where she is currently the Executive Chef for special events.

During our conversation I learned that Chef Boye, who is Buffalo born and raised, began her career in 1997. After graduating from the Erie Community College Culinary Arts Department she started working for one of her instructors and mentors, Chef Mark Wright. At the time, Chef Wright was the Executive Chef at The Transit Valley Country Club and he was insightful in knowing that Chef Boye had great potential so he was quick to hire her as part of his team in charge of baking and pantry.

In January of 2002, Chef Boye accepted the position of Executive Chef at Fiddleheads Restaurant on Allen Street, where she became known for her contemporary style of cooking. In June of 2005, she sought out the opportunity to work in her current position as Executive Chef with The Mansion on Delaware Avenue. Knowing full well that The Mansion is not a traditional restaurant, Chef Boye embraced the challenge of working with guests and clients on a new and exciting level. Given her past restaurant experiences Chef Boye is well-versed in both classic and contemporary cuisine, deeming her a very well qualified choice for her position at The Mansion.

At The Mansion, Chef Boye and the catering team confers with each client to customize their special event. “If a client has a favorite family recipe and would like to incorporate it into the menu, we work with them on the details in order to create a menu that personalizes the occasion, making it a memorable one. One of the signature dishes that we offer is a sweet corn crusted sea bass with a pine nut, tomato compote, and a salad of sweet corn, gorgonzola and arugula.”

My conversation with Chef Boye continued with a walk through the kitchen and then outside to the Mansion’s garden. “Betsie Menchetti of Metrogardens lovingly tends to our garden. She has been with us for years and has made a wonderful contribution to our kitchen with her garden. I am grateful to be able to step outside of the kitchen and pick fresh herbs and vegetables. I can choose from herbs like basil, purple basil, rosemary, sage, thyme or from more than a dozen other herbs. Also I can choose from fresh vegetables such as heirloom tomatoes, baby eggplants, swiss chard as well as edible flowers. Betsie’s garden is pesticide and hormone free allowing our produce to taste its very best. Here at The Mansion we believe its all about the special touches”.

Chef Boye was kind enough to offer me a tour of the choice of rooms clients have for their special events. Included is the Salon Hugo which is the room that once was the famed Victor Hugo’s Restaurant. “We will assist you in planning an event from 10 to 200 people. Be it a business meeting, a bridal or baby shower, a wedding, graduation, retirement or anniversary party, we will work with you to ensure you that your event will be all that you want it to be.”

In the June 2008 Buffalo Rising piece “The Mansion is an Asset to Buffalo”, Buffalo Rising writer Jennifer Lawandus shares the good news that The Mansion received the Key Bank Small Business of the Year award. To read about the history of The Mansion as well as some of the services provided to guests, click here. In addition to the Key Bank Small Business of the Year award, Zagat has awarded The Mansion the honor of being the Top Boutique Hotel in the U.S.

One of the best ways to get to know the Zagat-awarded Mansion would be to take advantage of the Feed Your Soul (the new endeavor of former BR YUM editor, Christa Glennie Seychew) event on August 13th, 2008. This event will combine a continental breakfast at The Mansion, transportation via limousine to and from the Chautauqua Institution for a lecture given by Mr. Tim Zagat, an exquisite French-inspired lunch at the stunning Athenaeum Hotel and back to The Mansion on Delaware Avenue for cocktail hour and a guided tour. The Mansion’s owner, Diana Principe will be along for the ride. For detailed information about this spectacular event go to: http://www.feedyoursoulbuffalo.com/events/behind-zagat.html.

You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the room rates are more affordable then you might imagine, making The Mansion the perfect weekend get away without ever leaving Buffalo.

The Mansion On Delaware Avenue
414 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14202

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