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Orchard Fresh executive chef wins Supermarket Chef Showdown

HortoncookingErin Horton, executive chef at Orchard Fresh supermarket in Orchard Park, won the "best side dish or mini meal" category at this year's Supermarket Chef Showdown in Chicago.

The Supermarket Chef Showdown is an annual recipe competition presented by the Food Marketing Institute.

Horton and 24 other finalists had 20 minutes to prepare a dish incorporating three mandatory ingredients in a live showdown before a panel of judges. Her Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs recipe beat out a total of 130 other submissions from 30 different retailers.

Horton's recipe was inspired by the Mediterranean Chicken Sliders dish sold in the prepared foods section at Orchard Fresh.

“What I love about the Supermarket Chef Showdown is that these talented chefs are finally getting some credit for preparing the wide variety of delicious food that feeds millions of Americans every day, said Janet McCracken, Supermarket Chef Showdown judge and test kitchen director for Everyday with Rachael Ray, in a release. “It’s giving a face to the men and women behind everything from that delicious rotisserie chicken that I personally rely on heavily for weeknight meals, to the wonderful salads, vegetable side dishes and desserts.”

Horton is from Springville.

GM Lockport's UB connection

The General Motors Components Holdings plant in Lockport and the University at Buffalo are keeping up a tradition this summer.

Four undergraduates from UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are working as interns for 11 weeks at the thermal products manufacturing plant on Upper Mountain Road. This is the fourth year of the partnership, with the UB TCIE (formerly known as the Center for Industrial Effectiveness) serving as the project manager.

During its short history, the GM Lockport-UB program has averaged seven interns a year. The automaker says the interns help solve problems, making suggestions for reducing scrap and improving processes. Each student works under the guidance of a supervisor and makes a presentation at the end of the program, UB said.

There could be a big payoff in the future: some past interns have attracted full-time job offers at the GM plants in Lockport and Rochester.

-- Matt Glynn

Courting Cameron

Cameron International Corp.'s search for a buyer for its centrifugal compression division, which includes a plant in Cheektowaga, continues.

Houston-based Cameron has said it intends to sell the division by the end of the year. Its Cheektowaga plant is on Broadway.

Cameron has not publicly identified any potential buyers. But a source familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified said multiple parties are interested, including Samsung. General Electric is also believed to still be in the mix, even after GE prevailed -- with a $16.9 billion bid -- over Mitsubishi and Siemens for the power and grid businesses of France-based Alstom.

-- Matt Glynn

Top Workplaces: A salute to the Top 40 workplaces in Western New York

Top workplaces

The Buffalo News teamed up with a company called Workplace Dynamics to survey area employees about where they work to determine the best places to work. It is a process The News plans to continue in future years, building participation and gaining a better picture of  Western New York’s workplaces.

Below is an index of the stories that appeared in this year's Top Workplaces.

Introduction: "Top Workplaces aims to assess the best places to work in Western New York"

The way the survey worked: How Workplace Dynamics measured employees' satisfaction

In the Large Company category:

In the Midsize Company category:

In the Small Company category:

The Top 40 workplaces, in chart form (click to view larger image):

Workplaces chart

Unmaking of a building

Want to see a building come down really fast? Here's your chance.

Uniland Development Co., which is building a new 12-story office and hotel tower in downtown Buffalo, has posted a new video online that documents the demolition of the former Delaware Court Building on the site at 250 Delaware Ave.

The video, which also shows the work to prepare the site for construction, uses time-lapse photography from February to May 2014, taken from the top of a building across the street at 70 West Chippewa St.

The video can be found here.

The Amherst-based developer plans to release additional videos in the future to capture the construction of the new mixed-use building, which will become the corporate headquarters for Delaware North Companies when it is completed in the fall of 2015. The building will include Class A office space, a 120-room hotel, ground-level retail, and a five-level parking ramp.


TTNY closes temporary Walden Galleria location


TTNY has closed its Walden Galleria store.

The store, which sells evening gowns and cocktail dresses, was a temporary location intended to serve customers through the prom season. Customers who have ordered dresses, have dresses on layaway or are waiting for alterations can pick them up at the company's Boulevard Mall store in Amherst.

TTNY, is owned by Buffalo designer Jimmylee. He also owns Motivator, a line of slimming shapewear undergarments with his husband, Ashley Steinfeld.


--Samantha Christmann

Sperry Top-Sider is open at Walden Galleria


Walden Galleria has another new store on deck.

Sperry Top-Sider has opened at the cheektowaga mall, on the lower level between H&M and the Microsoft Store.

The sportswear retailer is known for its preppy boat shoes, sandals and deck shoes. It also sells scarves, beach bags, hats and a small assortment of clothing and other accessories.


---Samantha Christmann

Texas de Brazil will open June 24


Workers are rushing to get Texas de Brazil open by June 24 in the former Hyde Park Steakhouse at the Walden Galleria.

The restaurant is a Brazilian churrascaria: waiters travel throughout the dining rooms from table to table with skewers of beef, lamb, pork, chicken and Brazilian sausage. Patrons can choose as many different kinds (and as many helpings) as they please, with waiters cutting and serving portions tableside.

TablesideThere is also an extensive salad bar with up to 60 different kinds of salads and sides, such as grilled Portobello mushrooms, sushi and artisan breads. Desserts are served a la carte, and include Brazilian cheesecake, flan and crème brulee.

Prices are $44.99 for a full dinner, which includes the meats and salad bar, and $24.99 for a light dinner, which includes just the salad bar. Children ages 6 to 12 are half price, children ages 3 to 5 are $5, children age 2 and younger are free.

The Texas-headquartered chain has 43 locations in 16 states as well as Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, South Korea and Aruba.

---Samantha Christmann

Been there, done that with Olean building

City officials in Olean were hoping that Carl and William Paladino might be willing to repurchase the old Manufacturers Hanover Bank Building in the heart of the downtown, but for the developers, it’s “been there, done that.”

The owners of Buffalo-based Ellicott Development Co., who have a long history with the seven-story landmark building, turned down the city’s outreach because they have too much else going on, William Paladino said.

The two-tone brownstone building at the corner of North Union and West State streets was previously owned by the Paladinos, who “bought it, sold it, got it back, and sold it again,” he said. At one time, there was talk with a partner, Olean businessman Louis Magnano, of redeveloping it into a boutique hotel, but not now.

“We have been asked about it, but at this point, we’ve sort of just said no,” he said. “We just have so many other things going on in our own backyard that to go down there, we just don’t have the time and resources at this point.”

Built in 1915 at 101 North Union St. and alternatively called the First National Bank Building or Park Centre Tower, Olean’s tallest building has been vacant for nearly 20 years.

It was acquired by Southern Tier Environments for Living in 2004 for $150,000, with hopes for attracting a bank or other commercial business or retail store to the first floor and either office space or apartments on the upper floors. Allegany-based Kinley Corp. was also slated to redevelop it.

But those efforts never materialized, and the building has suffered vandalism over the years, prompting city leaders to seek a solution. It is currently owned by the Olean Urban Renewal Agency, which is “still looking for a developer for the property at this time,” said Olean Mayor William J. Aiello.

- Jonathan D. Epstein

Pierogi by mail, with love


Buffalo ex-pats who can’t make it to the Broadway market this Easter will be happy to know they can get their Polish-American fix no matter where they are in the country. , an online retailer of Polish and Eastern European cuisine,  delivers Polish foods and prepared Polish dishes to your doorstep.

Based in the heart of Chicago’s Polish-American community, has been delivering Polish favorites such as pierogi, potato pancakes, Polish sausage, stuffed cabbage and rye bread for 15 years.

Prices range from 99-cent, imported Polish candies to ornate $50 cakes, with every manner of horseradish, borscht, kizka and pickle in between.

“We love nothing more than delivering top quality products that evoke childhood memories of a grandmother’s cooking or the tastes of home back in Poland,” said Michael Machnicki, Vice President of Polana.


---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

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