Nickel City Chef has retired. Thank you for ten great seasons, Buffalo!
Nickel City Chef was a series of live cooking challenges that pitted WNY’s professional chefs against one another in the stunning kitchens located at Buffalo’s own Artisan Kitchens & Baths. For ten seasons, chefs used a locally sourced secret ingredient to create unforgettable concoctions in front of sold-out crowds. Nickel City Chef always sought to combine the entertainment value of food television with a distinct passion for all things local, and the end result was an event as exciting as it was educational.
During its tenure, Nickel City Chef produced almost fifty competitions, published a popular cookbook, and prepared dinner at New York City’s esteemed James Beard House. It also produced multiple spin-off events, including Nickel City Cupcake Challenge, Nickel City Pastry Chef, Nickel City Cake Challenge, and Nickel City Firing Line.
Through its many endeavors, both publicly and privately, Nickel City Chef turned Western New York chefs into local celebrities, promoted the importance of the buy local/eat local culture, and underlined Buffalo’s status as a place where ambitious cooking is not just recognized, but celebrated. It also attracted journalists and culinary professionals to Buffalo who attended the show as judges, introducing them to WNY’s culinary talent and ultimately developing important relationships between Buffalo and significant surveyors and contributors to North America’s culinary culture.
Over the show’s lifespan, the Nickel City Chef team saw Buffalo’s dining landscape change radically. Always bolstered by independent restaurants and hardworking chefs, around 2011 Buffalo’s dining scene switched its focus to farmers, seasonal produce, artisanal ingredients, and chefs making everything they could from scratch.
WNY is home to over 7,500 farms, nearly 2,000 restaurants, producers of handmade value-added foodstuffs, and dozens of wine-, beer-, and spirit-makers. Buffalo deserves to be recognized, not just for our potential, our sports teams, or our chicken wings, but for our ability to transform our unique edible resources into something better than expected. We hope that ten seasons of Nickel City Chef helped to showcase the best of this to WNYers (our region’s toughest critics), and beyond. It has been an honor.
Christa Glennie Seychew and team
Visit Nickel City Chef’s YouTube Channel