AM Buffalo is at The Plating Society with Chef Darian Bryan, fresh off another Food Network appearance. Chef Darian Bryan is one of Western New York’s hottest chefs and the whole country knows it!
Recently you may have seen Chef Darian, The Plating Society has been on Chopped. He says “Chopped was my ultimate show to be on, from ever since I came here ten years ago. I wanted to be on it because it was a Food Network show, and I got a chance to compete on it.”
Recently he was on Supermarket Stakeout and he says, “that one was wild and so much fun.” Mercedes wanted to know why he was the last one to get his cart every time. Chef Darian says, “I’m going to be honest with you guys, I was being picky, and I didn’t want to spend too much money.” Emily says it looked like he was being a little too helpful to all the other folks on the show. Chef Darian says, “Like man, these people were willing to drop $200 on one cart and I said, I can’t do that. I know how to shop, I shop for football players each and every day, and some of them are a little stingy with the money, so I have to be careful with what I buy and when I buy.” Even though he didn’t know what was in the shopping bag, Chef Darian says “I could tell by the person, like she’s a mom, she probably has some good stuff, this guy looks like he is going to a cookout, this guy looks like he doesn’t shop for much. I pretty much studied them to see what they might have.” When asked what the experience was like, Chef Darian says, “It was crazy because the shoppers didn’t know what was going on and they were like why do you want to buy my groceries and I am like, hey listen my name is Darian and I’m in a cooking contest in the parking lot, I’d love to buy your groceries and chuckling says, they are like, no, get away from me but I was having fun. I was always the last one to get the groceries because I was being picky and also I didn’t want to spend too much money” Chef Darian Bryan won that contest.
Chef Darian is making his Rasta Pasta and Mercedes and Emily taste test it. They loved it and Mercedes did her happy dance because it was so good. She says it has a little bit of a kick, but not too much and it’s creamy.
Chef Darian says his inspiration is his mom. She had a Cook Shop back in Jamaica, a takeout spot, she would cook for all the neighbors and that’s where his loved started. He says, “I was eight helping he in the kitchen. I used to do the stuff she didn’t want to do, like breaking crab claws and scaling fish. When I was twelve, I was really into cooking and my mom showed me all this stuff and okay, so you are going to run this cook shop you are going to need to learn all this stuff. Then mom left Jamaica when I was fifteen and I took over the Cook Shop, doing all the cooking for the neighborhood folks. I came here when I was twenty and started at ECC right away, starting culinary, started my own program there called Caribbean cuisine. I would go back and teach every semester.” He shares when he was in school nobody was making Caribbean food, so I was bringing something new to the table. If you go to ECC downtown and see Caribbean cuisine he started it there. He goes back every year and teaches it and says he loves it.
Chef Darian Bryan also gives back to the community. He has been helping the Jefferson Avenue community since the tragedy that happened on May 14th . Chef Darian says “the World Kitchen, you know Jose Andrews reached out to me and said you know what happened in Buffalo we need people, we’ll need chefs to cook for these folks, and I feel like that’s my job and Buffalo is home for me now and these people are my people. So, I’m a private chef, I’m not set up to cook for that, to cook for that much people. I am going to do it anyways. I’m gonna figure it out.”
He said he got all these people to come and help him every day and he says they served about 6,300 meals. He says, “it’s tough over there man, and we need to do something for these folks, not just when something happens like this, but something on a daily, a permanent structure so these people can have healthy and nutritious food.” He goes on to say the people there were appreciative of what they did for them and says “everyday people would come out and say, chef you are a blessing to us, just keep on doing what you’re doing and I couldn’t do it without my team and my wife, she’s been there with me every step of the way making sure people are getting meals in the community.”
Emily asked how this has changed him and Chef Darian says, “It’s crazy because I look at the grocery store different now. I was looking over my shoulder each and every day, it’s crazy, I don’t want to live that life.” He goes on to say, “it is crazy how much people come together as a community. I love to see that, I’m like, why can’t we do this more often and coming together to be one and not just separated neighborhoods, like come together because we all got people, you know, so let’s come together and celebrate and have a good time.”