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Friday, February 6, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Owners carry on John & Mary's tradition in new Batavia location

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, food, John & Mary's, restaurants

He's Ted and she's Mary and together they're the new owners of John & Mary's in Batavia.

If that sounds a little confusing, it might help to know a bit of the history of the venerable Erie County group of entries. 

John Guida opened his first sandwich shop in Cheektowaga in 1952. Mary, his wife, insisted her name be added to the sign, so it was. (Mary Guida is 88 and reportedly still working.)

Ted Ulm was born and raised in Cheektowaga and went to culinary school, became a chef, worked in a supper club and a bakery and hooked up with an instructor who owned a Greek catering business when he was 18.

"Once I learned the ropes, he could run two jobs a day," Ulm said.

That led to a connection with John & Mary's and eventually, Ted Ulm owned his own John & Mary's location in Cheektowaga. 

He opened another location in Alden in 1999, which he still owns. He opened another in Arcade that he later sold, but he does own Theo's Greek Family Restaurant in Arcade.

He married Mary in 2009, and the coincidence of her name has led many people, Ted said, to assume his name is John.

The name may be different, but the quality is the same, Ulm said.

"Everything I make is all homemade, our dough, our sauces, our Souvlaki is out of this world," Ulm said. "I win awards with it all the time."

"It's a bigger menu, but it's all quality food," he added. "We use all of John & Mary's recipes. I stick by what they did in 1952. Their homemade hot sauce, top-line mayonnaise, top of the line cold cuts."

This John & Mary's is actually the second in Batavia. There was a John & Mary's here in 1974 and '75.

When Ted and Mary moved to Corfu, they started thinking it was time to bring John & Mary's back to Batavia.

From the time Ted opened his first John & Mary's in 1990, he expanded the menu so that there would be something for everybody. 

There's a full Greek menu and a full Mexican menu, Ulm said.

"John & Mary's is a place where a family can come and everybody will be happy," Ulm said.

John & Mary's is located at the old Scooter's location, 3711 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

CORRECTION: The information about Mary Guida came from the John & Mary's web site, which is apparently very out of date. Mary Guida passed in 2007.

Monday, January 26, 2015 at 6:14 pm

When the weather warms up, Bill Cultrara will be cooking again, with Duke's Smokin' Bone

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bill cultrara, business, dining, food

Bill Cultrara and Larry Reisdorf are eager for the snow to clear from the smoker so they can get busy again with some serious BBQ.

Reisdorf has owned and operated Duke's Smokin' Bone, a catering service, for about a decade, and with business growing, he thought Cultrara's experience and expertise could help kick things up a notch.

Cultrara is a chef and former owner of Delavan's.

"With his experience, I thought it would be great if we could team up and work together," Reisdorf said.

Fans of Delavan's will be glad to see Cultrara cooking again, and happy to know Duke's will start offering his secret-recipe Italian sausage.

"I saw this as a different opportunity, nothing I've ever done before, and I like to learn," Cultrura said.

The new menu will include spatchcocked chicken and beer can chicken along with beef brisket and ziti and sausage (smoked or grilled). Duke's longtime favorites, quarter chicken, pulled pork and ribs, along with a several other meats, will also be available.

Duke's is available for private parties, corporate events and graduations.

For more information, visit Duke's Web site.

Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 12:51 pm

FoodLink Mobile Food Pantry

post by Michele Lawson in Care-A-Van, community, food, food pantry, Foodlink, free

January 14th, 2015    5pm – 7pm

Care-A-Van Ministries 309 West Main Street, Batavia NY

(parking lot directly behind DirecTV and next door to Discovery Chapel)

Care-A-Van Ministries is partnering with FoodLink of Rochester to host a mobile food pantry. The exact food items available are not known, but freshproduce will be available. The Mobile Food Pantry is available to Genesee County residents only. There is no income verification required, but you must be 18 years old to pick up food from the pantry. Please provide your own bags/cart/vehicle to transport items to your home. Food products are served on a first come, first serve basis until all food products have been distributed. For more information you can call Care-A-Van Ministries at 343-0328

Event Date and Time

January 14, 2015 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, October 31, 2014 at 11:22 am

FoodLink Mobile Food Pantry

post by Michele Lawson in community, food, Foodlink, free, pantry

Batavia Assembly of God   24 North Spruce Street, Batavia NY

Care-A-Van Ministries is partnering with FoodLink of Rochester, and the Batavia Assembly of God to host a mobile food pantry. The exact food items available are not known, but fresh produce will be available. The Mobile Food Pantry is available to Genesee County residents only. There is no income verification required, but you must be 18 years old to pick up food from the pantry. Please provide your own bags/cart/vehicle to transport items to your home. Food is provided on a first come, first serve basis until all food products have been distributed. For more information you can call Care-A-Van Ministries at 343-0328

Event Date and Time

November 19, 2014 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 9:33 am

Fall Family Festival at the Willow Bend Inn

post by Holland Land Office in dancing, family, food, fun, history, live music

The Holland Land Office Museum and the Willow Bend Inn present a Fall Family Festival at the historic stage coach stop of the 1800s on Sunday, October 19th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Events include children's games and crafts, stagecoach travelers, Civil War and 1812 reenactors, musket firing, raffles, live music by Red Creek, food including wings, chicken fingers, fries, chili, burgers, and a cash bar.  This is a fundraiser for the Holland Land Office Museum.  Admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children.  There will be a cowboy/cowgirl costume contest for children as well.  

This is open to the public and everyone is welcome to experience this historic building and participate in the activities.  We hope to see you there! 

Event Date and Time

October 19, 2014 - 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 6:21 pm

FoodLink Mobile Food Pantry

post by Michele Lawson in Care-A-Van, community, food, Foodlink, free, pantry, St. Paul Lutheran
MOBILE FOOD PANTRY October 22nd 2014 5 pm – 7pm St. Paul Lutheran Church 31 Washington Avenue, Batavia NY 14020 Care-A-Van Ministries is partnering with St. Paul Lutheran Church and FoodLink of Rochester to host a mobile food pantry. The exact food items available are not known, but fresh produce will be available. The Mobile Food Pantry is available to Genesee County residents only. There is no income verification required, but you must be 18 years old to pick up food from the pantry. Please provide your own bags/cart/vehicle to transport items to your home. Food is provided on a first come, first serve basis until all items have been distributed. For more information you can call Care-A-Van Ministries at 343-0328

Event Date and Time

October 22, 2014 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Local chef plans special dinner at City Slickers of all locally grown food

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture, City Slickers, food

Farm-to-table is a growing movement nationally, but it's a term that hasn't popped up in Genesee County too often -- until now.

Brad Kujawaski, sous chef at City Slickers, is passionate about local food and he would like to see more people in Batavia realize how much great food is grown on our local farms.

"I think it's really important to give credit where credit is due and that starts with the farms," Kujawaski said.

He is preparing a five-course meal created entirely with local ingredients at City Slickers on Aug. 31.  

The produce will come from Porter Farms, a certified organic farm in Elba, and chicken will be from HLW Acres, Attica.

While Kujawaski expects to include a main course of roasted chicken and chicken soup, the rest of the menu will depend on what's farm fresh at Porter Farms that week.

"We're going to pick for him what's ready and he's going to cook it," said Peter Metzler, of Porter Farms. "To me that's about as fresh as it can get."

At least three courses will be paired with a beer from Rohrbach.

Kujawaski interned at Porter Farms during college and the fact that Brad is a good friend and a great cook is just part of the reason Porter decided to partner with him on this first-ever local farm-to-table meal, Metzler said.

It's also a chance to show off to more people in the community what Porter offers through its CSA.

"It's another way for us to get our food into the community," Metzler said. "We've never done anything like this before. It's pretty common elsewhere, so we wanted to try it out and see how it does."

The Aug. 31 meal is from 5 to 7 p.m. The cost is $60 per person or $100 per couple. Tickets can be purchased at City Slickers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 5:23 pm

FoodLink Mobile Food Pantry

post by Michele Lawson in Care-A-Van, food, Foodlink, free, pantry
YWCA/Living Waters Apostolic Ministry 301 North Street, Batavia NY Care-A-Van Ministries is partnering with FoodLink of Rochester, the YWCA, and Living Waters Apostolic Ministry to host a mobile food pantry. The exact food items available are not known, but fresh produce will be available. The Mobile Food Pantry is available to Genesee County residents only. There is no income verification required, but you must be 18 years old to pick up food from the pantry. Please provide your own bags/cart/vehicle to transport items to your home. For more information you can call Care-A-Van Ministries at 343-0328

Event Date and Time

September 5, 2014 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Care-A-Van Ministries Free Community Cookouts

post by Michele Lawson in Care-A-Van Ministries, community, cookouts, food, meals

Care-A-Van Ministries has been holding a free community cookout every Thursday night at Austin Park since mid-May and the response by the community has been tremendous. On average, the ministry serves between 350 – 450 meals per event to local community members, seniors from Washington Towers, and families who are enjoying the spray park.

But the event is not only about the food! It is about sharing the love of Jesus Christ with those in the community through uplifting music from the all-volunteer Care-A-Van worship team, inspirational words of encouragement from Pastors from various churches and denominations in our local community, and the commitment of local organizations such as the Salvation Army, Total Freedom, Truth Ministries, Living Waters Apostolic Ministries, P.C. Publications, Fidelis Care, GCASA, Mothers Supporting Children and Families, and many others in joining together to meet the needs of their community members.

Ride to Recovery, an organization devoted to reaching youth in need through biking events and activities, provides free bike repairs on Thursday nights. A favorite with the kids is the YMCA and Eagle Fountain Fellowship’s Care-A-Van kids which provides a bounce house, children’s messages, and activities during the evenings activities. Volunteers provide face painting, caricature drawings, and many other activities for the children in attendance.

Anthony “Smokie” LoCastro has brought a large donation of rain boots to the park which has provided free footwear for several hundred individuals within our community.

Most importantly, Care-A-Van wishes to thank all their committed, consistent, and faithful volunteers, because without them we couldn’t put on these cookouts week after week.

We encourage any organization, church, or agency to come out on Thursday night and join in this exciting outreach to our community members.

For more information you can contact Paul Ohlson at 343-0328, see us on Facebook, visit our website at cavministries.org, or email us at [email protected].

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 6:15 am

BOCES culinary students champs again in regional competition

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, BOCES, food

Press release:

Culinary Arts students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center brought home the Culinary Cup for the third consecutive year! 

These students took first place in the eighth Annual Taste of Culinary Competition hosted by the American Culinary Federation of Greater Buffalo, New York. This event was held at Erie Community College’s City Campus. 

Chef Nathan Koscielski's culinary team of 14 students consisted of morning and afternoon juniors and seniors. The team competed against other student teams from other colleges, high schools and BOCES. 

Last year, the team brought home the Culinary Cup; two years ago, the team tied for second place; and three years ago, the team took third place.

Jarrod Wall is a first year Culinary Arts student from Notre Dame Academy.

“This was an awesome experience and it’s the third year in a row that our school has won first place.  We got to work as a team and see firsthand how professional chefs work, ” Jarrod said.

Chef Koscielski described his students as talented and skilled.

“Our score was only two points away from being a perfect score and was higher than scores earned by teams that entered the professional division including restaurants and country clubs. The competition was a tremendous educational experience for our students.  It was exciting for our team to compete and win for the third time,” he said.

The team served guinea hen confit with Parisienne gnocchi, roasted red and yellow pepper coulis and pignoli gremolata served with a punch made of black currant and pineapple juices, coconut milk, and fresh mint.

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