24 Hour Hotline
Serving Buffalo and Erie Co.

Kids Helpline

Chautauqua County Hotline

NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence 24 Hour Hotline
English & español/Multi-language Accessibility

If you are Deaf or Hard of Hearing:
Contact us using 711 (National Relay Service)
If English is not your first language:
We have instant access to over-the-phone language interpreters 24 hours a day

MEN Who COOK 2014 Chefs and Recipes

Dan Barrett

Anthony Billittier

Jake Brach

Brian Brault

Mark Gardner

Tim Herzog

Daniel Kieffer

Jim Kuryak

Dave Mann

Jeff Pirrone

Paul Seil

Chris Spicer

David Zak


Dan Barrett

Buffalo Police Dept.

Dan Barrett

Dan Barrett is a 26 year veteran of the Buffalo Police Department and is
currently Detective Sergeant in the Downtown B District. He was an amateur
chef at the very first Men Who Cook. This year he will be preparing the same
dish of his very popular smoked barbecue ribs.
Dan has been active with Crisis Services since 1999 when he was a Detective in
the Sex Offense Unit. He is also an Advisory Board Member of End Violence
Against Women International.

Recipe: Smoked BBQ Ribs

Recipe: Smoked BBQ Ribs
o fresh pork spare ribs
o spice rub
o Kansas City style barbecue sauce

trim ribs
smoke ribs over hickory wood

baste liberally with barbecue sauce


Dr. Anthony Billittier

Emergency Physician, Erie County Medical Center,

University Emergency Medical ServicesTony Billittier

Dr. Anthony J. Billittier IV is an emergency physician with UBMD and a partner in Mobile Healthcare Partners.  Most recently, Dr. Billittier was the founding dean of the D’Youville College, School of Health Professions.  Prior to that, he served as Commissioner of Health in Erie County, NY for 11½ years.  A board-certified Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Dr. Billittier is a graduate of the University at Buffalo, School of Medicine.  He completed his emergency medicine residency and emergency medical services fellowship training at Allegheny General Hospital, Medical College of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh.  He has authored or co-authored over sixty publications on emergency medicine and public health topics and is also a Clinical Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo, School of Medicine and School of Public Health and Health Professions.  Dr. Billittier has maintained his academic practice of emergency medicine with the UB emergency medicine residency at the Erie County Medical Center and continues to provide medical oversight to many EMS agencies including Mercy Flight and the Buffalo Fire Department.  In addition, Dr. Billittier participates in numerous community service activities including service on the HEALTHeLINK and Unyts boards, as well as vice-chair of the Seneca Nation of Indians Health Commission.

Recipe: Homemade Pasta w/Simple Tomato Sauce (V)

Basic Egg Noodle Pasta

4 large eggs

3½ cups (830 mL) sifted all-purpose flour

1 tbs (15 mL) water

1 tsp (2 mL) salt

Break eggs into a glass measuring cup. Check to see that eggs measure 7/8 cup (207 mL). If less than 7/8 cup

(207 mL), add water, 1 tsp (2 mL) at a time, until measurement is reached.

Place flour and salt in stand mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn to Speed 2 and gradually add eggs and 1 tbs (15 ML) water. Mix for 30 seconds. Stop mixer and exchange flat beater for dough hook. Turn to Speed

2 and knead for 2 minutes.

Remove mixture from bowl and place on clean surface.

Dough may appear crumbly. Hand knead for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until dough is smooth, pliable and holds together in a ball.

Form walnut-sized pieces and extrude pasta into desired shape. Separate and dry as desired, then follow cooking instructions above.

Yield: About 1 ¼ pounds (579 g) dough

Simple Tomato Sauce

(Serves 4)

1/3 C. (3 oz., 90 g) unsalted butter or olive oil

1 small white onion, thinly sliced crosswise

1 lb. (500 g) fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and sliced lengthwise, or canned plum tomatoes, drained and chopped

salt to taste

8 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

In a large frying pan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onion and 3-4 tbsp. water, cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until onion is tender and completely translucent.

Add the tomatoes, cover partially and cook over low heat until a thickened, creamy consistency is achieved, about 20 min. If the sauce begins to dry out too much before the creamy state is achieved, add a few tbsp. of water to the pan.

Add salt to taste and the basil and stir well. Remove from the heatand let stand, covered, for a few minutes so the basil can release its aroma.


Jake Brach

Manager-Culinary Learning and Development 

Rich Products

Jake Brach, a native Western New Yorker, began his culinary career at age 14 at a family owned restaurant.  He attended ErieCommunity College where he earned an Associates Degree in Food Service Administration, and then continued his education at Jake Brachthe Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, earning an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts.  After school Jake toured the Western New York area working in numerous clubs, and restaurants, in a variety of positions.  In 1987, he took over the family retail wine, and liquor business.  From 1987-1996, Jake studied wine, and adapted his culinary knowledge to become known as an area authority on food, and wine.  In 1996, Jake stepped back into the world of food service operations when he began working for Delaware North Companies, first in operations, and later as a corporate trainer.

Currently, Jake is the Manager Culinary Learning and Development at Rich Products Corporation in Buffalo, New York, a global family owned, environmentally responsible frozen food manufacturer.  In his role, Jake develops, and executes training programs for associates, as well as Rich’s valued customers. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation, an ACF Certified Chef de Cuisine, a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Alumni Association, and sits on the Board of Directors for the New York State Restaurant Associations Education Foundation.  In 2006 Jake completed a stage at Charlie Trotters in Chicago where he experienced the cuisine, and service that earned Charlie Trotters a Michelin two star rating, and in 2011, a stage in New York City  at Auerole New York, a Michelin One Star restaurant that serves progressive American Cuisine.

Jake is the author of “The Sustainable Chef-Cooking with the Farmers of New York State”, an avid gardener who enjoys carrying on his family’s food traditions, and promotes the healthy connection between Farm, Food, and Family.

Other achievements:

-Rich Products Corporation-Regional Culinary Manager of the Year 2004

-Featured Chef at The Pride of New York’s 10th Anniversary Celebration-October 2006

-Guest Chef at GrandArmyPlaza Farmers Market, Brooklyn, NY-May 2008

-Guest Chef at The Culinary Institute of Americas “Hudson Valley Harvest Dinners”

Recipe: Pork Carnitas Tacos, Gazpacho Soup Shots (V) &

Cheddar Jalapeno Puffs(V)

Pork Carnitas Tacos

Gazpacho Soup Shots

Yield:  about 30 2oz. servings


2 cups              Cucumber, peeled and diced

2 cups              Green Pepper, seeded and diced

2 cups              Ripe Tomatoes, rough chopped

½ cup               Red Onion, diced

2 cups              Tomato Juice

½ cup               Lime Juice

1/3 cup             Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

To taste            Kosher Salt

To taste            Fresh Ground Pepper

To taste            Tabasco Sauce


Kosher Salt mixed with a little Taco Seasoning

Mini-Dill Pickle Slice

Chopped Fresh Chives


1. Place all of the diced vegetables in a large bowl. Add the tomato juice, lime juice, oil, and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

2. Transfer half of the mixture at a time to a blender or food processor and pulse the machine on and off to coarsely puree the contents. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

To assemble: Mix kosher salt and taco seasoning together, and place in a shallow dish.  Dip rim of shot glass in water or egg white.  Dip rim of shot glass in salt mix.  Carefully fill shot glass with Gazpacho, then sprinkle with a few chopped fresh chives, and hang a pickle slice on rim of shot glass.

Brian Brault

CEO, Pure Solutions

Brian Brault has been a part of Men Who Cook every year since the very beginning. At the inception of this great program, Brian was in his 7th year as a member of the Board of Directors.

Brian says that he loves the opportunity to blend his passion for cooking with an opportunity to advance the great work that Crisis Services provides the people of Western, New York.

Brian is CEO and founder of Advanced Facilities Services and PURE Solutions NA, two companies based in Western, New York.

He lives in Clarence with his wife and two of their three children.

Recipe: Roasted Corn and Ricotta Ravioli


  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small summer squash
  • 2/3 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 med shallot
  • 2 cups of Vegetable stock
  • ¼ C of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 C of Ricotta cheese (part skim)
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • ½ C of Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


Bring Vegetable stock to a boil.

Place sauce pan on stove and bring lightly salted water to a low boil in prep for ravioli.

Cut the corn off of the 4 ears of corn.

Use 2 Tbsp of  the oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of butter. Sauté the corn until soft and then divide into three piles. Half the corn should go into a container to puree with 1 Cup of the heated vegetable stock and 1 Tbsp of butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Set pureed mixture aside.

Take half of the remaining corn and mix it, in a bowl,  with the cheeses. Add a dash or two of salt, stir and refrigerate.

Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a sauté pan. Add half the chopped shallot to the pan and sauté until starting to become clear. Finely chop half a zucchini and summer squash and add to the shallot mixture. Add 1 Tbsp of butter to mixture and sauté until much of the liquid dissipates (10-15 min) stirring constantly. Add corn puree mixture to the vegetables, turn heat to lowest setting and stir occasionally.

Cut bacon into ½ inch strips. Sauté in pan until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set on paper towel. Drain bacon fat, replace pan on stove and add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add remaining chopped shallot to pan and sauté until starting to become clear. Cut grape tomatoes into quarters and add to shallot mixture. Sauté until tomatoes start to break down. Add Corn and bacon to mixture, stir and set aside.

Make homemade pasta and run through pasta roller to make thin sheets. Cut 2” round pieces of pasta (either by using a glass and a knife or a cookie cutter). Dampen edges of pasta rounds with water and fill with small dollop of the corn cheese mixture. Fold over pasta and press edges with a fork on both sides (top and bottom) to seal ravioli shut.

Place in boiling water and cook until floating at the top of the pan.

In large serving bowl or plate, place a ladle of the vegetable, corn puree mixture in the center. Place the desired amount of raviolis on top and garnish generously with the tomato, corn bacon mixture.

Serves 4-6 entrée size portions or 8-10 appetizer  portions.



Mark Gardner

Mark has spent many years managing Dining events in commercial and Mark Gardner picinstitutional settings.  This year, for Men Who Cook, he is thrilled to be assisted by his son Ian Gardner, from Mise En Place restaurant in Rochester NY.

Bananas Foster

This is the actual Bananas Foster recipe from the original source and creator of this dessert: Brennan’s Restaurant. In 1951, Chef Paul created Bananas Foster. The scrumptious dessert was named for Richard Foster, who served with Owen on the New Orleans Crime Commission. Richard Foster was a frequent customer of Brennan’s and a very good friend of Owen.

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup banana liqueur
  • 4 bananas, cut in half
  • lengthwise, then halved
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

Tim Herzog

President, Flying Bison Brewery

Graduated 1980 from Buffalo State College (B.S. Design/ Art Education)

Married in 1981

Began homebrewing in 1982

Father of two sons

Opened Flying Bison in 2000

Recipe: Harvest Stew


  • 5 lb. pork shoulder trimmed and cubed
  •     Vegetable oil (amount depends on type of pot)
  •     3 turnips
  •     3 lbs. potatoes
  •     1 lb. carrots
  •     2 large sweet onions
  •     4 large apples of your choice (I use Ginger Gold)
  •     6 pack Bisonfest (some for the pot, some for the cook)
  •     2-3 quarts Chicken Broth
  •     Seasonings; I use Grandma’s “add some and taste it” technique to arrive at a good taste, so amounts are up to you
  •     White Wine Worcestershire
  •     Sea Salt
  •     Cinnamon, Allspice, Paprika, Lemon Pepper, Ginger


Heat pot and add enough vegetable oil to coat bottom. Peel and mince 1 onion, 1 apple, and 1 turnip. Sweat in pot until softened, and set aside. Add a bit more oil, and brown the pork cubes. Add the broth, and turn up heat. Stir in 1 bottle beer and add 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. all other seasonings. Once liquid is boiling, reduce to simmer and cover. Simmer for 1/2 hour. Peel and dice remaining carrots and turnips and add to pot. Cook down for 15-20 min. Peel and dice potatoes. Add to pot and cook 20-25 min. more. Peel and dice apples and add to pot. Season more if you wish and cook until vegetables are desired texture and “gravy” is required density. You may thicken with a roux if you like, or use more Bisonfest to thin if necessary.



Ben Johnson

Parkside Community Association

I was born and raised in Greenwich Village in NYC.  I received a bachelors of Architecture from the University of Virginia followed by a Masters of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.  After 10 years of living and working in Boston developing affordable housing, moved to Buffalo when wife received a teaching position with the University at Buffalo.  Spent 2 months working the factory floor at ChocoLogo in downtown Buffalo before joining the Parkside Community Association as Executive Director.  I’ve been making hand crafted chocolates in my spare time ever since.

Proud husband of Dr. Corrie Stone-Johnson, and father of two, Mia (6) and Nate (4), both of whom don’t much care for chocolates.

Recipe(s): Assorted Chocolates

Salted Caramel:

  •  126g white chocolate 35g granulated sugar14g water91g heavy cream7g light corn syrup4g sea salt21g salted butter7g cocoa butter
  1. Combine cream corn syrup and salt in small saucepan and keep at a low simmer.
  2. Mix  sugar and water into a ‘wet sand’ consistency.  Cook over high heat      until dark amber and smoking.  Slowly pour cream mixture into caramel, stirring to break up any hard caramel bits.  Immediately  pour over the white chocolate in a separate bowl.
  3. Let  sit for 2 minutes, then stir to incorporate.  Once ganache reaches 95      degrees F, add soft butter and melted cocoa butter, mixing to combine.
  4. Pipe  ganache into shells made of dark chocolate.

Cinnamon-Hazelnut Ganache:

Hazelnut Puree:

  • 98g whole hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 98g whole hazelnuts, skin on
  1. Toast hazelnuts in oven at 350 until fully toasted and aromatic.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.  Process nuts in food processor into a paste-like consistency.

Cinnamon Ganache:

  • 154g milk chocolate
  • 84g heavy cream
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 14g hazelnut puree
  • 21g salted butter
  • 7g ground cinnamon
  1. Place  chopped chocolate in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat cream in a small saucepan and add cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a gentle      simmer, remove from heat and cover.  Let the cream steep for 30 minutes,      before straining into a clean bowl.  Return cream to a simmer again.
  3. Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate, stirring to incorporate.
  4. When the ganache reaches 95F, add the hazelnut puree, butter and ground      cinnamon, mixing to combine.
  5. Pipe   ganache into shells made of milk chocolate.

St. Germain Ganache:

  • 75g sugar
  • 120g heavy cream
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 30g Elderflower liqueur
  • 75g butter
  1. Make a caramel with the sugar and cream, and bring to a boil.
  2. Pour caramel over the chopped chocolate and stir to incorporate
  3. Allow the ganache to cool to 81F then stir in the liqueur and softened butter.
  4. Pipe ganache into shells made of dark chocolate.

Coffee-Cardamom Ganache:

  • 36g ground decaffeinated coffee
  • 4 dried green cardamom pods
  • 300g heavy cream (+ more as needed)
  • 45g corn syrup
  • 9g instant coffee powder
  • 90g invert sugar
  • 210g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g milk chocolate chopped
  • 30g unsalted butter
  1. Combine cream, ground coffee and cardamom in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes
  2. Strain the cream into a clean bowl, adding enough fresh cream to bring the mixture back to 300g.  Add corn syrup and instant coffee powder and return to a boil.
  3. Combine the invert sugar and chocolates in a large bowl, then pour the hot cream mixture over it.  Stir to incorporate.
  4. When the ganache reaches 95F, stir in the softened butter.
  5. Pipe ganache into molds made of dark chocolate.

Orange-Raspberry Ganache:

For orange ganache:

  • 200g orange juice
  • 100g heavy cream
  • 2g grated orange zest
  • 27g corn syrup
  • 40g invert sugar
  • 175g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 30g unsalted butter
  1. Reduce the orange juice in a small pot by half, until you have 165g remaining
  2. Add cream, orange zest, and corn syrup and return to a boil.
  3. Combine the invert sugar and chopped chocolate in a large bowl.  Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate, then stir to incorporate.
  4. When the chocolate has cooled to 95F, stir in the softened butter.

For Raspberry Puree:

  • 50ml water
  • 50g 10x sugar
  • 500g frozen and thawed raspberries
  • 10ml lemon juice
  1. Combine water and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil to make a simple syrup.
  2. Blend raspberries in a food processor, adding the cooled syrup and lemon juice.
  3. Blend to a smooth puree then pass through a fine mesh strainer.

For Raspberry Ganache:

  • 360g raspberry puree
  • 70g invert sugar
  • 600g dark chocolate
  • 100g unsalted butter
  1. Combine the raspberry puree and invert sugar in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil then allow it to cool.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler slowly until it reaches 113F.  Gradually add the raspberry puree, mixing continuously.
  3. Add the softened butter and stir to incorporate.
  4. Pipe a small dot of raspberry ganache into each milk chocolate shell, then cover with Orange ganache.


Jon Karel

Bartender, Vera Pizzeria


Jim Kuryak


Insurance Group


Jim Kuryak is returning to Men Who cook after participating in the inaugural event.  Jim travels frequently, and food-related destinations are typically a priority.   Jim is happy to be back to volunteer at this great event which benefits such an important organization in Crisis Services.  Brian Brault, a regular chef at the event commented, “I’m glad Jim is participating in this year’s event. Jim is one of my favorite home-cooks.  His food is always memorable.”

Jim is a partner with Niagara National Insurance Agency, here in Buffalo, NY.  He lives in Pendleton with his wife Kathy.


Recipe: Smoked Trout, Apple-Horseradish Cream Crostini


  • ½ pound of smoked trout, skinned and flaked
  • 2 tart apples, cored and cut into matchsticks
  • Handful of fresh chives
  • 2 celery stalks, finely cut
  • ¼ cup of horseradish
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • ½ cup of mayonnaise
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Kosher salt & Fresh ground pepper
  • Pumpernickel Bread – cut into small, bite-size pieces
  • Olive Oil


In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, chives, celery, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Mix together.

Add the smoked trout.  Gently fold together, being careful not to break up the trout.  Taste and re-season.

Heat oven to 500 degrees F.

Place bread on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle bread pieces with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place in oven until toasted, approx. 5 minutes.

Portion trout mixture onto bread pieces and garnish with extra chives.

 David Mann

 Buffalo Police Department


Lt. David Mann has been a member of the Buffalo Police Department for 26 years, and the Lieutenant in charge of the Buffalo Police Department’s Sex Offense Section since 1995. The squad investigates sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, missing persons, juvenile delinquency, and administers the registration and management of over 1000 registered sex offenders in the City of Buffalo. David is a past Coordinator of Crisis Services’ Police/Mental Health Coordination Project. In 1997, Lt. Mann participated in the DOJ’s National Summit on Sex Offender Management, which led to the formation of the Center for Sex Offender Management. He is a former Chair of the Multidisciplinary Coordinating Council and the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence. In addition, he is a founding member of Erie County’s Child Fatality Review Team, and of the Family Justice Center, and a member of the Boards of the Parkside Community Association and the It Happened to Alexa Foundation.

Recipe unavailable (trade secret)

Jeff Pirrone

The John Oishei Foundation

Basic Human Needs Initiative

This is Jeff’s second year attempting not to poison the wonderful people that support Crisis Services at the annual Men Who Cook Event.  Though reviews were good, last year’s pumpkin ravioli was messy and executed poorly.  Jeff hopes to have a neater plate tonight with his fresh chicken enchiladas and yellow rice.  Beware, this dish is a little spicy!

Jeff is the Supervisor of the Mobile Safety-Net Team, a basic human needs initiative created by The John R. Oishei Foundation, along with a Basic Human Needs Oversight Committee of which Crisis Services is a member.  The initiative was created in response to the economic downturn and the growing need for human services across the region. For many residents in need, this was their first time accessing services, and this new demand for human services began to reveal service gaps, access barriers and lack of knowledge among residents about resources that exist to assist them.  This initiative seeks to strengthen the region’s safety net through an assessment of what human services are available in communities and by identifying access barriers and areas of unmet need. The Foundation also seeks strategies and recommendations for overcoming existing barriers, for providing additional services where these are lacking and for increasing collaboration among service providers so that more clients can be served more comprehensively.

Jeff is grateful to be a part of this event and looks forward to a great night!

Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas

To come….


Dr. Aaron Podolefsky

President, Buffalo State College

Dr. Aaron M. Podolefsky was appointed president of Buffalo State College in July of 2010. Before that, he

served as President and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Missouri, a position he held since 2005. In close collaboration with his campus, he successfully led the development of a new Strategic Plan and a new Campus Master Plan, and also led the University through the transition to adopt a new vision, a new name and new crest.

Prior to his tenure at the University of Central Missouri, Dr. Podolefsky served for seven years as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Before that, he served for eight years as Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UNI. From 1986 to 1990, he was Professor of Anthropology and head of Western Kentucky University’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work. Prior to this position, he served as Associate Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University, and was a Research Associate for the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern University.

Dr. Podolefsky earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from San Jose State University and received two Master of Arts degrees (liberal studies and anthropology) and a Ph.D. with Distinction from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has authored numerous scholarly books, textbooks and articles, and he is a fellow of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Dr. Podolefsky is married to Ronnie Podolefsky (Shapiro), an attorney practicing in the areas of civil rights, employment law and mediation. They have two adult sons and are city residents who enjoy traveling with their two dogs. Dr. Podolefsky was raised in Brooklyn, where he often enjoyed cheese blintzes, which he has recreated for you tonight.

 Recipe: Ronnie Podolefsky’s Homemade Blintzes


For the filling:

  • 1 lb. Farmer Cheese  
  • 1 lb. Pot Cheese or dry curd curd cottage cheese
  • ½ lb. Cream Cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 heaping tbsp sugar
  • 1 C. golden raisins (dark raisins are too strong flavored)

For the berries:

For the blintzes:


For the filling: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead.)

For the berries: Combine sugar, water, and 1/2 cup of the berries in a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the berries break down, sugar is dissolved, and mixture has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the remaining berries to a small bowl and pour in the syrup. Stir in the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead.) Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the blintzes: Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until evenly combined, about 30 strokes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat that has been coated with salted butter. “My family’s shtetl version panfries these in generous amounts of butter. Maybe that’s why my grandmother outlived three husbands.” Add 1/4 cup batter, tilting the pan to evenly cover or spread out in a circle using the back of a spoon. Cook until just set and browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and place some filling on the cooked side of the crepe, then roll it up like a burrito and fry it in salted butter until both sides are golden and the filling is hot. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the berries and a dollop of apple sauce.

Important Note: Do NOT use cinnamon in the Blintzes.If you do, the ghosts of one nundred Jewish grandmothers will kill you in your sleep!




Ted Schmidt

Buffalo State College 


I am an associate professor of Economics & Finance at Buffalo State.  While I have worked there and lived in Buffalo for the past twenty-two years, I was born and raised in Southern California.  Shortly after graduating from high school I moved to Hawaii, which is where I received my culinary experience cooking at Hyatt Hotels for about six years.  Toiling in a hot kitchen made me re-think my career path, so I returned to California to pursue a college degree, which eventually ended with a Ph.D and job offer at Buffalo State.

Recipe: Chile Colorado with Corn Salsa Recipe

Chili Ingredients:

  • Chuck Roast cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Seeded Dried Ancho Chiles rehydrated and blended into a paste
  • Lard (or olive oil to make it a little healthier)
  • Cumin, Oregano, and Salt
  • Garlic  (lots)
  • Chicken Stock


To rehydrate dried chiles, bring a pot of water to boil place chiles in and turn off heat (make sure seeds are taken out).  Let stand for 20-30 minutes.  Place Chiles and some of the water in a blender and puree (note: if water tastes too bitter from the chiles, use tap water).  Brown beef with lard and garlic, add seasonings at the end then dump into large pot (note: go easy on the salt as you will simmer meat in stock).  Add enough stock to cover the meat, then add chile paste to taste.  Bring to boil, then simmer until meat can be shredded (may take a couple hours).  Shred beef then place into serving dish.

Corn Salsa Ingredients:

  • Fresh corn
  • Chiles (I prefer Serranos and I like to make a hot batch with Habaneros and a shot of Tequila—in the salsa, not the cook)
  • Onion
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Beer (preferably Mexican)
  • Salt


Boil corn for 1-2 minutes then cool and cut kernels from cob.  Dice chiles and onion and chop cilantro.  Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix. Open beer and taste for freshness.  Add a splash into salsa then consume remainder.  Again, lightly salt, as you will serve on a salted tortilla chips.

Tortilla Crisps Ingredients:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Corn oil
  • Salt

Cut tortillas into chip slices then fry in oil, lightly salt when done.


To serve: place some shredded beef Colorado on a chip and place some salsa over top.  Enjoy!

Father Paul Seil

Our Daily Bread

Fr. Paul D. Seil is a Roman Catholic pastor assigned to St. Bernadette Church in Orchard Park, NY. In addtion to his pastoral duties, Fr. Paul hosts a half-hour cooking show called “Our Daily Bread”.

Our Daily Bread brings a Catholic presence to the secular TV markets in the eight counties of Western New York, and Southern Ontario, Boston, MA and Fresno, CA.. It is also carried on a variety of cable systems by the Catholic TV Network.

Much more than an ordinary secular cooking show, Our Daily Bread seeks to fulfill a significant part of the Church’s mission to evangelize by drawing people together over simple recipes to discuss significant matters in human experience. While fostering gospel values in our society Daybreak TV Productions, which produces Our Daily Bread, promotes the dignity of the human person, and a respect for the gift of life, which is found in the simply profound and the profoundly simple.


Fr. Paul is assisted by Christopher Alongi, an engineer at MOOG and formerly a chef at BRODO where he created their stuffed pepper recipe and “Stuffed Pepper Soup”. He and his wife Erin are committted to local organic ingredients. Chris has appeared twice of Our Daily Bread.


Fr. Paul believe in the mission of Crisis Services and has seen the good they do in his ministry with troubled persons. He is proud to have been at the inaugural event and all Men Who Cook events but one ..

Recipe:  Gazpacho

VEGAN.  Some people use some bread to thicken the Soup. I did not, so that it is Vegan and Gluten Free.


  • 1 large cucumber,  seeded and peeled
  • 2  bell peppers, red, green orange whatever you prefer cored and seeded
  • 1 quart (32 oz) Sam Marzano Tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small can — about 4-6 oz —  smoked chipotle peppers  in sauce
  • 1 tteaspoon smoked paprika (or to taste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


Process each vegetable separately until it is coarsely chopped. After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic,, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper and smoked paprika. Mix well and chill before serving.

Recipe: Arancini

Vegeterian with Eggs and Cheese

These “Rice Balls”  are a traditional Sicilian dish which have spread to Italy –through Roma– and are now frequently found in America.

You can use left over rice “risotto” style or others. But do not use “converted” rice.

ARANCINI is the Italian word for “Orange”. When these deep fried rice balls are cooked, they resemble oranges in color and but the little bumps.


  • 3 cups leftover cooked risotto or any white rice except “converted”. (I prepare the rice in a chicken stock with a few threads of steeped saffron. For the MEN WHO COOK event I used a saffron vegetable stock.)
  • 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or another hard italian cheese
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano,  or basil
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Small cubes of Mazarella, Or Mozarella pearls.
  • Peas in a small amount of tomato sauce
  • All-purpose flour for dredging
  • Egg wash: 1 large egg whisked with 2 Tbsp cold milk or water
  • 1 Italian style  bread crumbs
  • Canola  oil for deep-frying
  • 2 cups Tomato Sauce


In a large bowl, combine the rice with about 1/2 cup tomato sauce to turn the rice pink in color, the Grana Padano, herbs, and egg. Season with salt and pepper.

Scoop up about 3 Tbsp of the rice mixture and pack it around a piece of mozarella cheese And a few peas in tomato sauce to make  a ball the size of a golf ball. Repeat until rice is used.

Put the flour, egg wash, and bread crumbs in 3 separate low-sided bowls or plates. Dredge the arancini in the flour, dip in the egg wash, and roll in the Italian  bread crumbs. Chill for a couple of hours  Heat the canola oil over to 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Deep-fry  without crowding, until they are evenly browned, 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly. Serve on a pool of warmed tomato sauce.

For the warmed tomato sauce, I used San Marzano tomatoes from Italy, simply pulverized and heated. Garnished with basil





John Simich & Paul Mazur

Erie County Central Police Services

John Simich, Ph.D. currently serves as the Director of the Erie County Central Police Services Forensic Laboratory.  He first joined the Laboratory in 1985.

Paul Mazur currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Erie County Central Police Services Forensic Laboratory.  He first joined the Laboratory in 2001.

Recipe: Beef, Bean and Cheese Burritos with Tomato/Peach Salsa Topping



  • 1.5 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 Can of Refried Beans
  • 1- 24 ounce Jar of Salsa (mild or medium)
  • 12-16 ounces shredded cheese (Monterey Jack blend or Cheddar)
  • 3-4 jalapeno pepper rings, finely chopped (Optional-adds a kick!)
  • 10 burritos


  • 2 medium-large Tomatoes (Heirloom if available)
  • 2-3 Fresh Peaches (depending upon the size)
  • ¼ cup finely diced purple onion
  • 1 Fresh Ear of Corn
  • 4-6 Tablespoons of Lime-Fused Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste


Prepare the salsa first to allow time for the flavors to blend.  Begin by dicing the tomatoes and peaches into small ¼-inch pieces.  Put in a bowl with the onion.  Remove the corn kernels from the cob by running a knife between the kernels and the cob.  Add to the tomato and peaches.  Add 4-6 Tablespoons of lime fused olive oil and mix to lightly coat the mixture.  More olive oil might be needed if using large tomatoes and peaches.  Salt to taste if desired.  Set aside in refrigerator.

Prepare the burrito mixture by first browning the ground beef.  Drain to remove the grease.  Over low heat, add the refried beans, ½ Jar of Salsa, chopped jalapenos and about 12 ounces of the cheese.  Continue stirring (3-5 minutes) over low heat until the cheese is melted and the mixture is blended.  Remove from heat.  Prepare the burritos according to the package.  Add an equal portion of the meat mixture to each burrito and roll.  Put each completed burrito into a baking pan that is lightly coated with a small sprinkling of about ½ of the remaining jar of salsa.  Spoon and spread the remaining jar of salsa on top of the completed burritos and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Cook for 25-30 minutes in a 325o oven, until heated through.

Serve the burritos over shredded Romaine lettuce and top with the Tomato/Peach Salsa.  Sour cream is optional.  Serves 5.

You can turn the Tomato/Peach Salsa into a summer salad by slicing the tomatoes and peaches into wedges.

Chris Spicer

Coordinator of the Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program

Planned Parenthood


Chris is the author of Planned Parenthood’s “Responsible Males” Program and has been involved locally and nationally in bringing men’s attention to important issues like domestic and dating violence and sexual assault for over 15 years.  He is committed to educating youth in age-appropriate, medically accurate, sexuality education as well as helping parents, families, and professional build more competence and confidence in teaching young people about sex and sexuality.  He is father to a 3 year old son and expecting a daughter in January!

Mr. Spicer is part of Men Who Cook because, in his words, “First of all, Crisis Services is an excellent organization that chooses to be there for people at critical moments from which many others would run scared.  Second, the advocacy they provide strengthens our community and feeds my own vision for my children to grow up in a world with less ignorance and more heart.  So of course I am delighted to be part of Men Who Cook.  Oh, and the fact that it is an incredibly enjoyable event doesn’t hurt either!”

Recipe:Utica Italian Greens Recipe (a la Spicer)


  • 1 large escarole (or 2 small heads)  - 2 Bags escarole at Wegman’s (very convenient)
  • 4 slices of prosciutto or genoa salami, thick slices, chopped / Vegetarian substitute 1 pack Smart Sausage, chopped
  • 1 white onion, halved and cut
  • 1 -2 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet yellow pepper, seeded & julienned
  • 1 large sweet orange pepper, seeded & julienned
  • 2 Poblano peppers, seeded & julienned
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup pecorino Romano cheese, grated / Vegetarian substitute vegan “Romano”
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded / vegan substitute, vegan mozzarella cheese substitute
  • salt and pepper, to taste (at the very end)


1. Clean and rinse escarole twice; chop in large pieces.

2. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes until tender.

3. Place olive oil in a sauté’ pan and heat. (I like to use a wok for making easy blending later)

4. Add chopped garlic, onion and genoa salami and render for 2 or 3 minutes.

5. Add all seeded peppers and cook another minute or so.

6. Add the escarole and all the other ingredients in the pan.

7. Add the bread crumbs and grated cheese and mozzarella, tossing gently until blended.

8. Taste for final salt and pepper seasoning.

9. Place in a casserole dish; sprinkle bread crumbs and cheese, and place under a broiler for up to 3 minutes to make a crunchy (not burned) top.

Serve warm.

Board Login    Privacy
Homepage 24 Hour Hotline Rape & Domestic Violence Suicide Prevention Homeslessness Mental Health Trauma Homepage