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On the town: October WNY food events

Here's some of the unusual or unique food-related events coming in October. (Please send event press releases to

Monday, Oct. 19

Slice, Dice and Spice. Those who couldn't get a ticket to Buffalo's sold-out Nickel City Chef cooking competition events might consider a little drive to Canandaigua. Finger Lakes tourism officials are holding Slice, Dice and Spice NY, which pits chefs with amateur assistants against each other in a race to make the best dishes from a mystery ingredient. And it's free.

There will be three heats on Oct. 19, each featuring a Buffalo chef: Trattoria Aroma's Keith Dulak at 12:30 p.m., Kate Elliott from Juniper at 4 p.m., and Kevin O'Connell Jr. from O'Connell's American Bistro at 6 p.m.

The finals will be Sunday, Oct. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. Also free.

The events are held at the New York Wine & Culinary Center, 800 South Main St., Canandaigua.
For more information: or 585-394-7070.

Thursday, Oct. 22

Chefs and Apprentice Cooks Showcase Dinner. Six-course meal featuring local produce and Niagara wine pairings. Proceeds benefit the Niagara Parks Commission Apprentice Cooks Scholarship Fund. $100 (Canadian), reserve by calling 877-642-7275 ext. 2. For more information:

Saturday, Oct. 24

Farm to Table Dinner. Five courses with wine pairings that celebrate the bounty of the Western NY region, by Chef Ross Warhol, at the Chautauqua Institution's Athenaeum Hotel.

You can check out the menu here: Rutabaga and apple soup, roasted beets, rainbow trout, Freeman Homestead pork and roasted pumpkin each get full-contact gourmet treatment. (The trout is "Pan-seared rainbow trout, creamed leeks, Green Heron Grower's shiitake mushrooms and brown butter hollandaise.")

Organizer Christa Glennie Seychew and Bruce Stanton of the Athenaeum Hotel will present each course with  commentary on ingredient sources and wine pairings. 

$89. Social hour, with hors d'oeuvres and local cheeses, at 5:30 p.m. Dinner at 6:30. For reservations and information: 800-821-1881.

Thursday, Oct. 29

Sabres Alumni Fall Wine Festival. Join Sabres alumni and their wives for food and drink from "wineries and restaurants from Buffalo, Niagara on the Lake and beyond." All proceeds benefit breast cancer care in Western New York. Oct. 29, 6:30-10 p.m., HSBC Arena Pavilion. $60 at HSBC box office or For more information: 845-8788 or

Halloween Wine and Chocolate Tasting Party. Tour Buffalo confectioner Choco-Logo and enjoy wine and chocolate tasting. Benefits Heart of the City Neighborhoods. 5:30-7:30 p.m. 141 Broadway St. For more information: 882-7661 ext. 200 or

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