Valenti's: Still Going

Way back in mid-December, I wrote two posts smacking the Buffalo News and its restaurant reviewer, Janice Okun, for regurgitating untrue claims made by a couple running a red sauce joint in North Tonawanda. The first post is here, the second is here.

The original post is now up to 140+ comments, many of which detail various legal problems and outright lies told by these restaurateurs. It has since drawn the attention of the Metro papers, here.

After contacting the Food Network, and the production company in charge of producing the show Iron Chef, Triage Entertainment, Inc., both companies indicated having no record of Valenti appearing on the show.

“We have a master list that shows every competitor that has appeared on the show,” said Courtney Mattox administrative assistant at Triage. “There is the possibility that his name slipped through the cracks but we keep pretty good records.”

After trying to contact Valenti to provide him the opportunity to prove otherwise, Metro was only able to contact his wife, Lori, who stated “I will not comment on this matter, I will have Terry call you back.”

Terry never called back.

Brian Kahle of Magic Marketing, provided a press release to The Source regarding the restaurant grand opening, which took place Monday, Nov. 14, which read:

“Executive Chef and co-owner, Terry Valenti, is a guy who took-on and defeated celebrity chef Bobby Flay during a 2003 episode of TV’s popular ‘Iron Chef.’ When challenged to come up with four great dishes using parsnips, of all things, Terry produced four exquisite offerings, including his Chilean Sea Bass, stuffed with parsnips and artichoke hearts”. His creative dessert choice was a Mango Parsnips Ice Cream, which the judges also loved.”

The funniest thing I saw, however, was this article from Brevard County Florida, outlining Valenti’s elaborate claims about being a CIA graduate, and such a valuable asset to the then-defunct Mamma Leone’s restaurant in Manhattan that the owner “cried” when he resigned.

Click to enlarge

I’ve never seen such a wide and deep volume of utter nonsense just to puff some nondescript restaurant and a nobody chef, and none of it is necessary to run a decent Italian food joint. Interesting what a simple vetting of an Okun review might reveal.


  • Interesting read. After perusing this article and both the link provided previous posts the main impression I get is…what the heck is Artvoice doing? After trashing this restaurant’s owner’chef and The News’ Janice Okun what have we learned…about the restaurant and the food? Well, nothing.

    Looks to me like Artvoice requires a restaurant reviewer in a bad way. May I offer my services? The Plebian Gourmet would very much like to review this and other restaurants for Artvoice. All you need do is pick up the dinner tab for my wife and I. Of course the wine or beer selection would be reviewed along with the food and that tab would be yours to keep also. The Plebian Gournet (almost) always remains annonomous while dining for the purpose of a review.

    Let me know gents and ladies, I can start immediately.

  • No one from Artvoice is “trashing” the owner/chef. I’m merely exposing his lies. as for learning about the restaurant and its food, that’s sort of what Okun’s job is, don’t you think?


  • I think this is an amazing example of how the news cycle can be manipulated even by amateurs. How many people read Okuns review, fell for it, and are completely unaware of what has transpired since. I guess Brazen is the key. Go big or go home Imagine what is being done by the big boys on a national and international level. We live in a fabricated universe.

  • Has anyone eaten at Valenti’s since this story broke? There was one post on the other blog where someone mentioned seeing a scrapbook at the restaurant bragging about Terry’s Iron Chef appearance.

  • This has become a story because Terry Valenti has been a career criminal con man and it is finally catching up with him.

  • I, for one would NEVER eat at this restaurant!!! Now they’re both career criminals?? Ugh, what other lies have they told. BTW, they will probably be evicted by next week.

  • @Alan Bedenko: Could you please email me… …TY

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