Buffalo-area chefs are taking the stage at two Manhattan culinary showcases in coming months.
For the first time, the James Beard House has invited a foursome of Nickel City Chefs to present a dinner Oct. 16. Plus, leading Buffalo chef Mike Andrzejewski has been booked for May 30 at City Grit, a less formal but much-lauded kitchen stage that opened in 2011 at 38 Prince St. in Chinatown.
The October Beard House dinner, coordinated by Nickel City Chef founder Christa Glennie Seychew, recognizes the skills of Buffalo-area chefs who have participated in the cooking competition series, Buffalo’s answer to “Iron Chef America.”
The current “home team” will each cook a course at the October dinner. They include JJ Richert of Kenmore’s Torches, Brian Mietus of Bacchus, Jennifer Boye of The Mansion on Delaware Avenue and Adam Goetz, who recently moved his restaurant, formerly Sample, to 1472 Hertel Ave., and renamed it Craving.
Jon Karel, a drinks whiz at Vera Pizzeria, will offer cocktail support and wine pairing advice.
“Being asked to cook at the James Beard House is a little like winning an Oscar. It’s national recognition for our city’s chefs and finer food,” said Seychew, Buffalo Spree food editor, whose Feed Your Soul company organizes food events. Andrzejewski has cooked at Beard House several times, and last fall, chef Ross Warhol of the Athenaeum Hotel at the Chautauqua Institution offered a dinner there.
“In terms of its dining scene, Buffalo has begun to experience an evolution – a new wave, if you will – over the last three or four years,” said Seychew. “This invitation from the Beard House signifies and validates the importance of this transition, and, in my eyes, offers encouragement for other local chefs and restaurant owners to follow suit.”
Seychew said she was planning a September dinner in Buffalo to help raise money for the Beard House excursion, the costs of which are largely borne by the chefs themselves.
Next week, Andrzejewski will offer New Yorkers a little taste of how Buffalo cuisine is evolving beyond its reputation for chicken wings. He’s the featured chef May 30 at City Grit, a showcase led by chef Sarah Simmons, which hosts “well-known and emerging guest chefs from around the world looking to showcase their culinary talents,” its website says.
Tickets to the $65 dinner are available through citygritnyc.com.
Andrzejewski said another Beard House dinner, featuring Mike A’s at the Lafayette executive chef Edward Forster and himself, is scheduled for July.