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Nickel City Chef Video & Recap: Mietus vs. Giordano

The second show in Nickel City Chef's third season, held on Sunday, March 6, featured the organization's newest Nickel City Chef, Brian Mietus, the Executive Chef and Managing Partner of downtown's Bacchus. Mietus was brought on board after season two, when Chef Paul Jenkins of Tempo retired from the series. Mietus was an obvious choice, in addition to managing one of the city's best restaurants he was also the first Challenging Chef to beat a Nickel City Chef.

The challenge kicked off in the lovingly restored turn-of-the-century stove factory which is now home to Artisan Kitchens & Baths. The house was packed! Honestly, I don’t think we’ve ever had so many people in that space. The audience was very excited; the challenger, Mary Ann Giordano, the Executive Chef of Williamsville’s Creekview restaurant, had brought a team ready to rally and support their favorite chef. Folks sporting Creekview tshirts and waving signs cheering her on filled her side of the audience.

The judges sat in the center of the fray, elevated on a stage. First up was John Bourdage, a Nickel City Chef regular whose merits as a food and wine consultant include professional training at the Ivor Spencer School in London. Also on the panel were two young chefs from out of town, Matt Mytro from Cleveland and Don Salamone. Mytro is a caterer who is well known for hosting fun food events and operating a cool culinary apparel line called Stove Monkeys. Salamone, who is on his way to San Francisco after accepting a position as Corporate Executive Sous Chef for the Michael Mina Group, has worked in the kitchens of Joel Robuchon, Gordon Ramsay and Guy Savoy, among others.

After the chefs were introduced, host Bert Gambini announced the day’s secret ingredient: vine ripened tomatoes from H2Gro, a state-of-the-art greenhouse facility located in Lewiston, NY that produces 6 million pounds of tomatoes in its annual 8-month growing season.

Each chef, along with their sous, had one hour to prepare three dishes. While they toiled away in their kitchens, juicing, peeling, dicing and pureeing tomatoes with intensity, the audience watched and enjoyed light snacks from the caterer, Sample.

Below are the menus offered by each chef.

Nickel City Chef Brian Mietus


Tomato Consomme - Crispy Tomato and Camembert Sandwich


Bacon-wrapped Monk Fish - Lobster, Avocado, Tomato Confit with Spinach, Basil Risotto, Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette and Tomato Beurre Blanc


Tomato Tart Tatin - Ginger Mascarpone Cream and Balsamic Reduction


Challenging Chef Mary Ann Giordano

Panzanella Salad with Goat Cheese and White Balsamic Golden Tomato Vinaigrette


Blue Corn Seafood Enchiladas with Red Chili Tomato Cream, Salsa and Avocado Lime Puree


Grass-fed Colorado Lamb Romesco with Eggplant Tomato Purse and Stuffed Tomato



The Final Tally

Buffalo Spree is a proud sponsor of Nickel City Chef, and all of Feed Your Soul's productions.

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