Field & Fork Network

WNY’s Chef Kate Elliott of Juniper Restaurant is Finalist in Fingerlakes Chef Competition

In Edible Events on October 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Canandaigua, NY ­– On Monday, nine chefs from the Finger Lakes and Buffalo area and their teams of amateur “foodies” battled it out in the Slice, Dice and Spice NY preliminary rounds at the New York Wine and Culinary Center. Three winning chefs and their teams will head to the final round next Sunday in this Iron Chef-like competition to crown this year’s Slice, Dice and Spice NY champion!

The teams had an hour to make three courses using primarily Finger Lakes ingredients and local produce from Bejo Seeds, Pedersen Farms, Firefly Farm, and Clearview Farms. Certain ingredients were surprises that they had to incorporate into their dishes in one way or another.

The first heat of the day was won by Michael Bommelje of Warfield’s Restaurant in Clifton Springs. His dishes were a beet and horseradish cheddar bruschetta with rainbow carrot salad, grilled pork chop with creamy polenta in a spicy Red Jacket Orchards apple cider apricot sauce, and a plum and apricot cobbler with a tart Cherry Stomp reduction. Michael’s team of foodies consisted of Marti Casper (Stephens Media Group), Therese Taylor (Stephens Media Group), Janet Kneiss, and Kristie Credit (Stephens Media Group).

Kate Elliott of Juniper in Buffalo won the second heat. Her dishes were seared sea bass with butternut squash, tenderloin with Arbor Hill Sherry Wine Barbecue sauce and parsley root spaetzle, and gingerbread with a rosemary whipped cream paired with Rohrbach’s Vanilla Porter. Kate’s team was Kathleen Houser (Victor Historical Society), Laura Kenyon (Farmers Market foodie), Russ Kenyon (Finger Lakes Visitors Connection), and Angela Parr (Cornell Cooperative Extension).

The final heat of the day was won by Nick Rada of Doc’s Seafood and Steakhouse in Canandaigua. Nick’s dishes were a surf and sausage kasha salad with Hartmann’s sausage and Birkett Mills kasha, pan roasted scallops with tricolored cauliflower puree, and a pear and bacon tartlet with maple whipped cream. His team was Karin Cross (WYSL contest winner), Dennis Ferlito (Bejo Seeds), Nancy Yacci (Slice, Dice and Spice fan), and Kathy Maltman (Finger Lakes Visitors Connection).

These three chefs and their teams will battle it out one more time in the final round on Oct. 25 from 1-4 p.m. In addition to the finals competition, there will also be tasting booths. The event is free and open to the public.

The New York Wine and Culinary Center will be open to the public on the day of the finals. Their restaurant, tasting lounge and gift shop will be fully operational during the Slice, Dice and Spice NY competition.

For more information on Slice, Dice and Spice NY, please call AJ Shear at (585) 394-3915 or visit

Slice, Dice and Spice NY is a Finger Lakes Visitors Connection program that hosts a variety of events during the 2009 growing season in and around the Finger Lakes area to showcase the culinary and agricultural assets and talents of the region. Slice, Dice and Spice NY is currently in its second year and this year’s program culminates in October with the Slice, Dice, and Spice NY Cook-offs. The preliminary round of the Cook-off is Oct. 19 and the finals are on Oct. 25.


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