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Iron Event continues tradition of succulence and success

The Western New York restaurant scene is unique in that its members are not just colleagues, they're a family. Much like the Buffalo population in general, the culinary crew cares about each other, and while they may compete for reviews, customers and accolades, they have each other's backs when it counts.

The Iron Event is one example of that community spirit, an event to benefit those with ALS started by former chef Daniel Tracy.

Tracy was diagnosed with ALS in 2010, and in 2011, started the Iron Event to help raise money for his care and a local culinary agricultural center. The event features an "Iron Chef"-style amuse bouche competition, with chefs sending out their best to tempt attendees' palates. There is also a ticket auction with more than $2,500 worth of prizes.

Ristorante Lombardo's meatball was offered at the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Ristorante Lombardo's meatball was offered at the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

With more than 300 tickets sold and the Hotel @ the Lafayette's three ballrooms packed to the chandeliers, it's safe to say the Iron Event closed out its fifth successful evening with full stomachs and satisfied taste buds.

A cocktail punch with One Roq vodka was served, too. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

A cocktail punch with One Roq vodka was served, too. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

This year's dishes were sent out by chefs Edward Forster (Buffalo Proper), Jennifer Boye (The Mansion on Delaware), Jeffrey Cooke (Osteria 166), Bruce Wieszala (Coppo), Chris Daigler (Bourbon & Butter), Lennon Lewandowski (Oliver’s), Steven and Ellen Gedra (The Black Sheep), Jill Forster (Nickel City Cheese and Mercantile), Edward Dolski (Foundry), Andrew Giordano (Lockport Country Club), Michael Obarka (Ristorante Lombardo), Matt DiCamillo (DiCamillo’s Bakery), Chaz Bulera (Riverstone Grill), RJ Marvin (Barrel + Brine), Frank Mercado (M&T’s Executive Dining Room), Victor Parra Gonzalez (Jaguar at the Bistro) and James Roberts (Toutant), with cocktails by Tony Rials (Bourbon & Butter).

Chef Ed Forster wields ice pops from Buffalo Proper. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Chef Ed Forster wields ice pops from Buffalo Proper. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Dishes ranged widely in style, complexity and execution, ranging from brie ice cream on a brown butter shortbread with spicy honey and nuts from Nickel City Cheese, to chicken liver mousse line with fermented black beans, puffed rice and a charred garlic scape (Beans n Rice, naturally) from Buffalo Proper and a red snapper ceviche from Jaguar at the Bistro.

The Buffalo Proper chicken mousse line. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

The Buffalo Proper chicken mousse line. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

New player Coppo, the brainchild of former Bourbon & Butter chef Wieszala, served a homemade spam sammie that showcased Wieszala's legendary charcuterie skills.

Spam sandwich from Coppo and Bruce Wieszala. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Homemade Spam sandwich from Coppo and Bruce Wieszala. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Newcomer Barrel + Brine sent out a traditional Bossam, shredded beef over rice with pickled vegetables and kimchi, to roll out the pickled fare the shop will soon sell on Carolina Street.

Barrel + Brine's representatives create a Bossam, which involves rice, hot sauce and kimchi. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Barrel + Brine's representatives create a Bossam, which involves shredded beef over rice, pickled vegetables and kimchi. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Guests were all issued ballots with which to vote for their favorites, rating them on a scale of 1-5 and then placing a "x" by the best of the night.

Winners were:

*Riverstone Grill for a duck confit tostada with roasted beet and apple salsa, chipotle cinnamon cream, dark cherry BBQ sauce and queso fresco

The confit from Riverstone Grill was one of the favorites at the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

The duck confit tostada from Riverstone Grill was one of the favorites at the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

*Barrel + Brine for its bossam

Barrel + Brine has catchy branding, but its bossam drew rave reviews at the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Barrel + Brine has catchy branding, but its bossam drew rave reviews at the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

*Lockport Country Club for the "Asian Beef Invasion," braised beef short ribs with chili, garlic and lime sauce, chopped peanuts, cilantro and scallions, topped with crispy won-tons

The "Asian Beef Invasion" from Lockport Country Club was a hit. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

The "Asian Beef Invasion" from Lockport Country Club was a hit. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

*Osteria 166 for an elk burger on a donut hole

Osteria 166 boasted an elk burger between a donut, right. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Osteria 166 boasted an elk burger between a donut, right. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

*Barbecue force Toutant, sending out Roberts' succulent brisket.

James Roberts' brisket from Toutant was applauded at the Iron Event, too. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

James Roberts' brisket from Toutant was applauded at the Iron Event, too. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Each of the offers was both delicious and beautifully presented, but what was even more so was the spirit of camaraderie that pervaded the competition.

As one diner remarked while shoveling down Buffalo Proper's Beans n' Rice: "If I were to get sick, I hope they'd show up this way for me."

Nickel City Cheese and Mercantile's brie ice cream from the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Nickel City Cheese and Mercantile's brie ice cream from the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

 

If the annual success of the Iron Event is any indication, I think they would. Because that's Buffalo. Even when we're competing, we're all in this together.

Info: The Iron Event, Sept. 14 at the Hotel @ the Lafayette

Oliver's peach crisp from the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Oliver's peach crisp from the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Ceviche dish from Jaguar at the Bistro at the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Ceviche dish from Jaguar at the Bistro at the Iron Event. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

This shrimp was an amuse bouche from Acqua. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

This shrimp was an amuse bouche from Acqua. (Lizz Schumer/Special to The News)

Lizz Schumer writes about food, drink and whimsy for Buffalo.com and other publications. She is the content manager for Resurgence Brewing Company and can be found online at facebook.com/lizzschumer, @eschumer and lizzschumer.com

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