Well-known Buffalo chef and restaurant owner Mike Andrzejewski defeated celebrity chef Bobby Flay on national television Thursday night.
"Beat Bobby Flay," a popular cooking faceoff, aired on the Food Network.
Andrzejewski is the owner of SeaBar, a popular seafood restaurant on Ellicott Street, and Cantina Loco on Elmwood Avenue. The chef sat down with WBFO the day before the show aired to chat about his encounter with Flay.
“It was a really cool process,” he said. “Everything from them sending a car to pick you up at the hotel, the guy holding your nameplate up so you can find your black car ride back to the studio. They treated us really great."
The concept of the show is simple. For the first round, two chefs selected from different parts of the country must engage in a cook-off. Bobby Flay selects an ingredient, which the chefs must then center their meal around. The winner then competes against the final opponent -- Bobby Flay. In the final faceoff, the winner chooses the primary ingredient.
The local chef selected one of his popular Asian-inspired recipes. The Loco Moco is a half-pound of beef, fried rice, eggs and gravy.
Andrzejewski had a creative way of practicing during the weeks leading up to the competition.
“I’d have my wife shout out different ingredients for me and I’d have to come up with some ideas really quick, on the fly, with what I’d have to do with them to present a unified dish, or a really neat, cohesive, restaurant quality dish. So we were kind of going through this drill for a couple weeks before the show.”
Andrzejewski says working with Flay was a fun but challenging experience.
“Working in this whole process with Bobby Flay and his production team and the people doing the show was an incredibly great opportunity. It was really professional, it was exciting, it was really difficult, but it was one of the most fun things I’ve done in a long time.”
A viewing party was held Thursday night at SeaBar, at 475 Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo.