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Firing Line

Springing from the success of the hit Nickel City Chef series is Nickel City Firing Line, which launched in the fall of 2012. It is slated to return for a second season in the fall of 2014.

This live, three-part series bears some resemblance to the popular Food Network show Chopped, but features a slightly different format appropriate for a live audience.

Firing Line takes place at Artisan Kitchens & Baths, the home of Nickel City Chef and one of the Buffalo’s best kept secrets. This fully restored turn-of-the-century stove factory is located on the city’s west side. Outfitted with three competition-worthy kitchens, Artisan is the ideal location for guests to experience our one-of-a-kind live cooking competitions first hand.

The audience watches as professional culinary contenders vie for the season’s title of Firing Line Champion, enjoying snacks and access to a cash bar.

Guest judges and local food professionals determined which chef prepares the most technically perfect, creative, and delicious dishes in two times rounds.


Congratulations to Match One winner, Teddy Bryant of Lloyd!

This Match was hosted by Bert Gambini, Chef Mike Andrzejewski, and special co-host Chef Adam Goetz (Sample)

Judges included Chef Ross Warhol (The Athenaeum), Kristen Becker (foodie and comedian), and Nelson Starr (Nickel City Chef judge)

Chef Teddy Bryant / Lloyd   Christopher Bryant, known to his friends as Teddy, is the sous chef for Lloyd Taco Truck. Prior to that, Bryant earned an Associates Degree from the Culinary Institute of America before working at some of the finest and busiest restaurants in the country. He began with an internship at Le Cirque in New York, before moving to Las Vegas where he worked as a butcher for the Venetian Hotel, as a grill cook for Nobhill in the MGM Grand, and as the sous chef of Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace, to name just a few of the esteemed listings on his resume. A Buffalo-native, Teddy credits his grandfather’s skills in the kitchen with inspiring him to become a chef.

Other Match One competitors:

Chef James Gehrke / Mike A at Hotel Lafayette

Chef Jason LaMotte / Global Spectrum and The Conference & Event Center, Niagara Falls


Congratulations to Match Two winner, DJ Cook of Sample

This Match was hosted by Bert Gambini, Chef Mike Andrzejewski, with special co-host Chef JJ Richert (Torches)

Judges include Chef Brian Mietus (Bacchus), Kevin Purdy (Buffalo Spree restaurant critic), and Don Burtless (

Chef Donald Cook / Sample    Donald Cook is the executive sous chef at Sample restaurant in Allentown. A graduate from the French Culinary Institute, Cook is a Buffalo native, who has recently returned from cooking in New York for the last five years. Cook, who feels that working clean and remaining professional are keys to his success, has worked at the Michelin-starred Rouge Tomate and as tournant under Chef Nate Appleman at Pulino’s. Cook holds a firm belief that using proper technique and process when preparing food is just as important and the taste and quality of the final product.

Other Match Two competitors

Chef Daniel Kirby / Seabar

Chef Anthony Petrilli / Park Country Club


December 2nd, Finale

The winners from Match One and Math Two faced off in the 2012 Firing Line Championship Finale.
See below for video from the previous matches.

The finale was hosted by Bert Gambini, Chef Mike Andrzejewski, with special co-host Chef Adam Goetz (Sample)

Judges included Julia Burke (Buffalo Spree restaurant critic), Andrew Galarneau (Buffalo News restaurant critic) and Chef Steven Gedra (Bistro Europa)


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