It takes an enormous amount of energy and passion to run six restaurants. At Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino In Niagara Falls, NY there is one large team paving the way in the culinary industry. And their goals are lofty. At the helm is German born and classically French trained, Executive Chef Oliver Wolf. Wolf leads a culinary team of 700 employees that range from food and beverage professionals to chefs and front line workers. Four of the restaurants include, Western Door Steakhouse, La Cascata, KOI, and Three Sister’s Cafe. It may be a large team but it’s a close family that cooks from the heart.
Born in Frankfurt, Germany and bringing with him more than 25 years of experience from around the globe, Chef Wolf is responsible for both the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino as well as the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino restaurants. For a man with such a worldly career he doesn’t talk of complicated methods of food production or scientific molecular gastronomy. No, Chef Oliver gets excited talking about the highest quality of food, from farm to table produce, supporting local farmers, to picking his own fresh produce and cooking simply so the food speaks for itself. “I can talk about food all day,” Wolf tells me. He also explains that it is the passion of the Buffalo region and the shift in the food industry here that brought him here. His passion for his work at Seneca Niagara and Buffalo Creek Casinos is evident.
Chef Oliver also co-host’s Western New York’s popular show, Come Dine with Me WNY.
He shares, exclusively, his Butternut Squash Crostini recipe with Digestion Suggestion.
It’s a great starter for any holiday dish.
Butternut Squash Crostini:
This easy-to-prepare recipe brings out the fall flavors of Western New York to your party.
1 Butternut Squash – peeled, seeded, and evenly diced
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 cup Farmer Cheese (Friendship Dairies – N.Y.)
1 tbsp. Chives, finely cut
1/4 cup N.Y. Maple Syrup (reduce to a 1/3 cup if needed to reduce sugar)
1/8 cup Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Baby Arugula
1 each Baguette (alternate, use whole grain baguette).
** Farmer cheese is pressed cottage cheese; an unripened cheese made by adding rennet and bacterial starter to coagulate and acidify the milk. Farmer cheese may be made from the milk of cows, sheep or goats, each giving its own texture and flavor. For a healthier option, use goat’s cheese for this.
Sauté the diced butternut squash in a nonstick pan with olive oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
Mix the farmer cheese with the chives. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
Combine the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar in a medium-size sauce pan. Reduce by half over medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning the mixture. Consistency should be like a thick syrup when finished.
Grill the sliced baguette (half inch, bias cut) on both sides. Brush with some olive oil prior to grilling.
How to assemble the Crostini (just prior to serving):
Spread the farmer cheese generously on the baguette.
Top with a soup spoon of the butternut squash, and garnish with some baby arugula.
Drizzle the balsamic-maple syrup over the crostini.