Local celebrity chef Bobby Anderson, a one-time contestant and Gordon Ramsay chew toy on “Hell’s Kitchen,” decided another gourmet chef was the last thing Buffalo needed upon his return from filming the popular Fox show in 2008.
He instead sought to fill a void in the lives of Western New York’s inner-city youth, hoping that he might influence their path for the better in the same way Ramsay, a world-renowned chef known for his short-tempered television act, influenced his.
That’s why in 2010 Anderson founded F Bites, a nonprofit culinary vocational program for at-risk youth between the ages of 8 and 18.
F Bites, which has operated out of Anderson’s hometown of Niagara Falls for the past four years, is beginning to offer its six-week program for Buffalo youth in a partnership with the Buffalo Police Athletic League.
Its first major event series, called “The 20/20 with F Bites,” begins today at Canalside.
Each Tuesday through Aug. 26, Anderson and a handful of F Bites students past and present will serve free samples of their cooking to passers-by.
Anderson is calling the event a youth “culinary experience” show that will include cooking demonstrations, live entertaining and fitness challenges in different weeks.
Tuesday’s menu of free samples includes: Caramelized sweet onion ham hock with English sweet pea risotto; butterscotch and maple brazed short ribs; barbecue pulled pork osso-bucco; white verbena chocolate bananas foster bread pudding; and red velvet doughnut cake.
The event will run from 11 a.m. to noon each week.