1. The Nickel City Chef series pitted the area’s kitchen maestros in head-to-head cook-offs, much like the Food Network’s “Iron Chef.” Tonight at 6, the production company Feed Your Soul debuts its new culinary competition, Nickel City Firing Line, where chefs race the clock to create several dishes, much like “Chopped.” Contestants in Match One in the showcase kitchens in Artisan Kitchens & Baths, 200 Amherst St., are Teddy Bryant of Lloyd Taco Truck, James Gehrke of Mike A at the Hotel @ the Lafayette and Jason LaMotte of Global Spectrum and the Conference & Event Center in Niagara Falls. All 200 tickets for tonight’s competition are sold out.
2. Somalian novelist Nurudden Farah, considered to be one of the world’s greatest contemporary writers, has won virtually every major literary award except the Nobel Prize, for which he’s perennially on the short list. Farah describes his work as an attempt “to keep my country alive by writing about it.” He appears in Just Buffalo’s Babel reading series at 8 p.m. in Kleinhans Music Hall.
3. It’s National Eating Healthy Day, when everyone across the nation is encouraged to stop gobbling junk food and start making more well-balanced menu choices. To show its support, the kitchen at Kenmore Mercy Hospital is shutting down its fryers and is offering more heart-healthy meals for its patients and in its cafeteria. The hospital already is adopting healthy eating programs with its Meatless Mondays and 300-Calorie Meal Tuesdays.
4. The turbulent and triumphant history of Poland will be in the spotlight for the next 15 days as Canisius College plays host to a comprehensive Polish Film Festival, Art Exhibit and Book Fair. It begins this evening with a lecture by Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder on “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin,” based on his prize-winning book of the same name, which linked the unthinkable atrocities committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes in the lands between Germany and Russia during World War II. Snyder speaks at 7 p.m. in the Regis Room of the Richard E. Winter Student Center. Admission is free.
5. They call Austin, Texas-based Rosie Flores “the Rockabilly Filly” for her dedication to the high-energy mutation of country music and rock in the 1950s. Her love for it developed in the punk and alt-country scene in Los Angeles some 30 years ago, and she’s played a major role in reviving the leading ladies of the rockabilly era – first Wanda Jackson and more recently Janis Martin, “the Female Elvis.” To follow up the release of the new Janis Martin CD she produced, Flores is touring with Seattle’s rockabilly darling, Marti Brom, to perform Martin’s songs. They stop into the Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St., at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.
6. If the man at the podium in the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts this evening looks familiar, it’s because you’ve not only seen his movies, but you’ve also seen him up on the screen. He’s maverick film director Kevin Smith, the man behind “Clerks,” “Mallrats,” “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma,” “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” And, yes, he’s Silent Bob. He’s not silent in real life, however. He’s a hilarious storyteller. He’ll regale fans at 7:30 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre. Tickets are $39.50. At 6:30, North Ridge, the Star Wars Fan Club of Buffalo, will make a special costumed appearance in the atrium.
7. Expect some expert perspectives on Superstorm Sandy when Edward Blakely lectures on “Katrina’s Lessons: Of Failed Levees and Failed Institutions” at 5:30 p.m. in 301 Crosby Hall on the University at Buffalo South Campus. Blakely, a leading scholar on urban policy and disaster recovery, oversaw Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts from 2007 to 2009 as executive director for the federal Office of Recovery and Development Administration. He also played a lead role in the recovery from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and the Loma Prieta earthquake in Oakland, Calif.