Top chefs square off in best-bite competition to benefit Dan Tracy
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • September 09, 2013 @ 10:05am
Gifts that are taken away inexplicably are perhaps the toughest to swallow.
Tonight’s Iron Event at Pearl Street Grill and Brewery benefits Dan Tracy, a local chef who’s been forced out of the business due to Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), a debilitating illness that drastically reduces voluntary muscle control, confining Tracy to a wheelchair.
Tickets are $35 at the door or $30 (+fees) online, or they can be purchased at the following locations: The Pan American Grille, Oliver’s, Bistro Europa, SeaBar, Encore, Tabree, Osteria 166 and Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile.
The Buffalo News’ Andrew Galarneau penned the back-story on Tracy’s career, illness and the overwhelming support from fellow chefs.
From the Iron Event’s about page, Tracy delivered a telling statement about the financial battles he faces each year:
As one who suffers from this debilitating illness, I know firsthand that as difficult as it is to persevere against such a formidable foe, it is much worse to have to do it without support – both psychological and financial. It is estimated that people with ALS will require $250,000-$350,000 a year beyond the second year of diagnosis to prolong their survival time.
Galarneau is clear that the participating chefs—see the list at the bottom of the page—are donating their time and ingredients, but there are bonus perks in addition to the central cause of supporting Tracy, who worked at Tempo, Mother’s and Black and Blue, among others.
For the competing chefs, $1,500 worth of prizes from the event sponsors are in sight, while the Mansion on Delaware’s Jennifer Boye hones in on another reason for patrons to be pumped:
“It’s a great way for people to try the food from places they might not otherwise go,” said Boye. “I think there’s curiosity there, people can try things they can’t get every single day. So that’s a bit of a draw.” Not just regular restaurants, she pointed out, but her hotel, which only feeds guests, or the M&T Bank’s executive dining room, where Chef Frank Mercado does not take reservations from outside the building.
Nate Stockmaster from the Pan American Grille
J Lennon Lewandowski from Oliver’s
Steve Gedra from Bistro Europa
Mike A representing SEABAR
Jill Forster from Nickel City Cheese and Mercantile
Chris Daigler from Encore
Bruce Wieszala from Tabree
Matt DiCamillo from DiCamillo’s Bakery
Frank Mercado from M&T’s Executive Dining Room
Jeffrey Cooke from Osteria 166
Jennifer Boye from The Mansion