December 22, 2011
See what a calendar year brings to our hustling-bustling local food service scene. 2010 is a distant memory but you can take a look back to our top ten stories of the previous year as we ready the reservation book for New Year's Eve.
10. Nickel City Cookbook - Author Christa Glennie Seychew provides the first expansive narrative to our local food service scene and does so with a passionate and precise amount of detail. Letter perfect.
9. East Aurora Artisans - Elm Street Bakery and First Light Creamery. Proving man and woman can live on bread and cheese alone if done right.
8. Hospitality Wage Order - The most extensive revamp of the food service wage order in NY State in a decade. We should be good to go for a couple more years.
7. Russell Salvatore - The Russ is back. Bigger, bolder and better than ever. No independent does more covers. Moves more product. Works more hours.
6. Niagara Community College Culinary Center gets funded. Sure it will be completed in 2012 (maybe, you never know in Niagara Falls)...but putting the Center in the dormant Ranibow Center was a masterstroke.
5. Food Truck Brouha- legislation is still pending to govern food trucks here in WNY. This is more of a story of technology and shifting business models than David v. Goliath. But it sure has captured an inordinate amount of disucssion.
4. Revenge of the Tonawandas - For years, the sleepy burgs of T and NT took a back seat to their more prosperous neighbor Amherst. But the redevelopment of the Tonawanda waterfront-years ahead of Buffalo's waterfront redevelopment-has sparked a food service revival along the upper Niagara river. Full results to be witnessed in the heat of Canal Fest.
3. Food Broker Consolidation - Nationally, food brokers are consolidating and merging throwing the whole foodservice supply-chain into a state of uncertainty. Locally, brokers Venture and Fusion gain strength and market presence.
2.Mike A. What a year for Chef Mike Andrezjewski. Sea Bar expands and crushes it. Not to be deterred, Andrezjewski plunges ahead with three more ambitious projects slated for 2012.
1. Statler vs. Hotel Lafayette - Mark Croce and Rocco Termini place the biggest bets on downtown squarely upon the drawing power of the food service industry. It's not a matter of who will win. We suspect they both will; and our industry will be better for it.