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Restaurant owner Terry Valenti accused of falsifying Iron Chef experience

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It appears a restaurant owner, Terry Valenti (where in NY is his restaurant?) claimed he beat Bobby Flay in Battle Parsnips. Only problem is no one has any record of it. Anyone else know anything about this?

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  1. Terry Valenti is a career con artist, you can read all about this at http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/201...

    4 Replies
    1. re: mrkarma

      That's a wild read ...thanks!

      1. re: mrkarma

        I just read that whole comments section. Talk about entertaining.

        1. re: nofunlatte

          Loved this comment:

          "Comments section has gone totally Jerry Springer — without the chairs."

        2. re: mrkarma

          Thanks Mrkarma for the additional info.

        3. That whole blog discussion is quite a soap opera. Enormously entertaining.

          The guy claims to have been on ICA in 2003. We shot the four-episode "Pilot" (Battle of the Masters) in early 2004 and it aired at the end of April. The series version didn't begin airing until Jan 2005.

          It always astonishes me how people can lie about stuff that's so easily verified.

          4 Replies
          1. re: acgold7

            Yes, I pointed out his claim about ICA in '03, when it wasnt even in existance that year. He also claims to be an ex Marine, went so far as getting a Marine tattoo, when he never did ONE DAY in the Marines. He claims to be a Hells Angels too even has AFFA tattooed on his fingers. He's a pathological liar, It's just he's finally getting caught in all his lies.

            1. re: mrkarma

              Is that your blog? I looked for your user name there but didn't find it. I should have pointed out that this was noted on that blog, but just wanted to bring that out here for those who didn't follow the link.

              What a sociopath. And his "wife" seems even worse.

              And shame on the "journalists" -- both print and TV -- who bought this line without doing the slightest bit of fact-checking.

              1. re: acgold7

                Yeah, I mean the con artist couple is terrible but the food critic who's never heard of fact checking and writes like a high school dropout - "Garlic toast was sliced good and thick"? Ugh! Guess Buffalo News isn't exactly NY Times.

                I did find the blog and reviews of the restaurant very entertaining. Apparently when you order fish and chips there, you literally get fish and potato chips and they try to tell you it's their version of fish and chips. And so many shill reviews! If they spent time improving their recipe instead of postleviews online...

                1. re: uwsister

                  The food critic has been around forever, too - she should know better.

          2. It will be interesting to see how the town embraces this restaurant.

            15 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I love ArtVoice's Title: Two and a half WTFs

              http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/201...

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                "...train wreck that I could not tear myself away from."

                I think I spent a couple hours at the office today reading and following the various links. What a psycho-social meltdown. Why this isn't a reality tv series I don't know. Some network out there has to be crass and low enough to turn it into one. Food Network is obviously up to the task (or down depending how you view it) but maybe they need to team up with one of the other low brow sensationalist channels to maximize the melodrama. Combo of food, crime drama, spurned lovers, nut jobs, it has it all.

                I understand gangs don't like it much when someone fakes membership like this guy apparently has done, so I can only assume at some point there will be a mob of toque wearing, rolling pin wielding CIA thug/chefs who beat him senseless.

                1. re: RC51Mike

                  I don't know if Food Network could handle this, After all, this guy just pulled an "Irvine." Something the FN doesn't apparently deem to be of consequence.

                  http://www.sptimes.com/2008/02/17/Sou...

                  Oh, I am not trying to rehash the Irvine thing. Just responding to the above post.

                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                    Ha! I was JUST going to mention the "Chef" Irvine thing...only difference between the two is that one is promoted by FN and the other is trying to make a living. Interesting how harsh people are on this guy but will tune in happily to Restaurant Impossible on a weekly basis...

                  2. re: RC51Mike

                    I understand gangs don't like it much when someone fakes membership like this guy apparently has done, so I can only assume at some point there will be a mob of toque wearing, rolling pin wielding CIA thug/chefs who beat him senseless.
                    ~~~~~~~
                    LOL!

                    whomever said that the comments on that blog had "gone totally Jerry Springer — without the chairs" was absolutely right.

                    his wife sounds like she's several slices short of a full loaf, and he's clearly a sociopath. i'd really love to hear what he has to say for himself now that he's been outed, but i doubt we'll ever have the pleasure...

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I especially like how the "wife" keeps logging in under a new and different user name every day, as if that's all it takes to make us ignore the hilariously illiterate writing....

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Jerry Springer without the chairs pretty much sums it up. I've come to the conclusion that the infamous Debra Farley is actually Kaiser Soze.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          LOL! I hadn't read this thread all the way through, but I also noted the Jerry Springer w/o the chairs comment, ghg. ;-)

                        2. re: RC51Mike

                          Yeah 'Guy' F. would be the perfect host. LOL

                          1. re: RC51Mike

                            RC51Mike= hilarious!

                          2. re: TrishUntrapped

                            Guess we won't know, as my inquiry is no longer on the NY state board.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              That is strange and disappointing. I really can't imagine why it was removed. I was looking forward to reading any replies! I wonder what rules that post broke????

                              1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                It might have been attracting comments that were about the blog piece rather than the food, so therefore duplicative of this thread. If someone actually eats there, please report in.

                              2. re: Melanie Wong

                                Also, the restaurant is being evicted. http://www.wkbw.com/home/Tenant-Landl...

                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                  I heard of this on the NY boards first, and the thread vanished into the ether, no idea why either....but nice to see its made a reappearance here. I read the blogs, and LMAO!

                              3. That was the funniest bed time story I've had in years. Thanks!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: piano boy

                                  well there's an hour I'll never get back! what a read!!!

                                2. LOL I would love to watch Battle Parsnips!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Bob W

                                    I would too. Bring on the parsnips! Extra snippy for this one!

                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                      I know we would hear Alton exclaim, "The ice cream machine!"

                                  2. This individual is the reason why I no longer eat the food at Capt . Hiram's. The biggest draw for locals is the ability to arrive by boat and use their dock while listening to cd accompanied musicians and drink booze.

                                    But then Central Florida is not much of a destination for gourmands or epicures.

                                    1. I have been transfixed by this story for days. I check the website frequently, as new and fascinating information appears there continually as the story develops.

                                      http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/201...

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                        It really is fascinating. I love how people are finding Lori's ranting and raving on other sites pretending to write positive reviews. If she'd just use some punctuation and an occasional capital letter, she might not be so easy to spot. I'd love it if she posted on here!!!

                                        1. re: southernitalian

                                          done and DONE! Apparently...
                                          It's not hard to recognize writing styles and syntax I think.
                                          LOLOLOL
                                          Edit: alas the poster in question is no longer here...sigh...I'll bet a return visit will happen, though

                                      2. The deadbeats are being evicted, and their truck repoed:
                                        http://www.wkbw.com/home/Tenant-Landl...

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: mrkarma

                                          Poorly written article. But it does make the point that there is an eviction of sorts underway. Also, two wrongs don't make a right. The landlord's behavior sounds like it was way out of line.

                                          Someone, please dine there and report.

                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                            You think? If you were Terry's landlord you may have a different point of view visa vi getting YOUR kitchen equipment ripped off and having YOUR property vandalized. I'll bet you a million dollars that Terry and is psychopath girl friend WILL smash up whatever they can on the way out the door. Hell Terry might even enlist the Hells Angels/Bobby Flay and some of his buds from the CIA to help with the destruction of some one else's property. LOL

                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                              Maybe the landlord and Terry could battle it out in Kitchen Stadium, over say parsnips? Winner takes the equipment and restaurant space?

                                            2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                              Let the lawyers battle it out. If any equipment or anything else in the restaurant is damaged or destroyed that would be a part of the lawsuit, seeking damages for unpaid rent and malicious damage to and/or destruction of property among other things. Landlord-tenant lawyers deal with this all the time.
                                              This guy Valenti sounds like a real sociopath. His wife is right up there with him. Her screeds are almost impossible to read they are so illiterate.

                                          2. Alan Bedenko who broke the story about Valenti's on his blog:
                                            http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/201...
                                            is scheduled to discuss the matter this morning around 8 a.m. WEDG 103.3. I don't get this radio station, hope it is taped.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                              That's me! <a href="http://www.wedg.com/FlashPlayer/defau... a link to the audio.</a>

                                              1. re: Buffalopundit

                                                Great that you were on the radio bringing attention to these losers! I've been lurking on the blog for days now - every time I check there are about 50 more posts ... and I've been checking 3-4 times a day! I am riveted by it ... and there is breaking news just about every time I check!

                                                I was a bit surprised though, that the radio guys said a couple of times that they'd heard the food there was good. On the blog there are all kinds of links to reviews from people who thought it was godawful. It seems like the only good reviews are from the owners, masquerading as customers. I was wondering why you allowed that to go unchallenged?

                                                1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                  Okun gave them a decent review, and there were some good reviews on Urbanspoon and elsewhere, and having not eaten there, I wasn't really interested in getting into a discussion about the quality of the food. I think the story has gone way beyond being about a restaurant and a lying cook.

                                                  1. re: Buffalopundit

                                                    I think you were smart. You are correct, this whole thing has taken on a life of it's own, far beyond lying about credentials....

                                                2. re: Buffalopundit

                                                  Good interview. What a story, absolutely wild!

                                              2. The latest on this rather amazing saga:

                                                Tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 19, around 7:45 a.m., a conversation with Terry Valenti will be featured on the Shredd & Ragan show on 103.3-FM the Edge. Alan Bedenko who broke this story on his blog will be featured afterwards.

                                                You can listen live here:

                                                http://www.wedg.com/

                                                Read more about this update here:

                                                http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/201...

                                                I need a shower just thinking about this.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                  "It’s become the Valenti’s Restaurant Massacree." Tee hee!

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    Yes, bar are there 27 8x10 color photographs with circles and arrows splainin what each one is to be used as evidence against them?

                                                  2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                    And now the owner's name is Lori Brucaglio? What happened to Ramos and/or Valenti?

                                                  3. Wow. Just listened to Terry Valenti himself on the radio. He admitted to the following:

                                                    1. He was not on Iron Chef America. He said he did a little mock Iron Chef competition in Florida and it got blown way out of proportion.

                                                    2. He lied about being a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He said he was desperate for a job so he lied about his background to get one.

                                                    3. He had made a claim that he worked at Mamma Leone's in NYC. To set the record straight he said, "There are like 20 Mamma Leone's in New York. I didn't work at the famed one, I worked at another one."

                                                    4. There is a YouTube audio, wherein (an alleged) Mr. Valenti claims he is the president of a chapter of the Hell's Angels. He has AFFA (a Hell's Angels phrase) tattooed on his fingers. Mr. Valenti admitted he is not a member of Hell's Angels.

                                                    Anyone eat there yet?

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                      Did he sound penitent? Or defiant and trying to backpedal his way out of the crapper he's fallen into?

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Here's the station's website, hey have podcasts if you want to hear it:

                                                        http://www.wedg.com/

                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                          I'll have to see if I have time tonight; can't listen at work.

                                                      2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                        FWIW, AFFA stands for "Angels forever, forever Angels." Some also say that the "A" is for "avengers" but Angels makes more sense to me.

                                                      3. His own press release that JUST came out disputes everything he said on the radio show, LOL!
                                                        http://www.scribd.com/doc/78786926/Va...

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: mrkarma

                                                          Where are you seeing a date on that press release? It reads as if it were written a long time ago. Doesn't look like a typical press release with the bolding and enlarged font size - it looks like a restaurant review. Written by Valenti or Lori.

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            It WAS written when it was first opened, by their PR company they hired. If you look closely on that page, you can SEE who submitted this. Bravo on the timing, Alan!

                                                          2. re: mrkarma

                                                            Love the misspelling of "parmisan."

                                                          3. Buffalopundit has shut down the original artvoice thread as over 1,100 comments had been made on it. He encourages people to continue the discussion here:

                                                            http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/201...

                                                            1. The discussion has been continued here:

                                                              http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/201...

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                Fascinating story. Hard to look away. So. Who IS Karma?

                                                              2. i found the posts hard to follow on the site cause deb and everyone is so mean just wate til i see you in court you make me mad just you wate cause I'm gonna esplane everything i stand by my man not like sum of you...
                                                                LOLOLOL
                                                                I particularly loved it when Lori made an appearance here...AWESOME!
                                                                One day, hopefully, a concise account of what exactly went down will be available because all joking aside, I did have a tough time following the thread on artvoice from start to finish.
                                                                Congrats on a good result!
                                                                :)

                                                                1. Super kudos to Alan Bedenko. While questioning a simple restaurant review that contained what he found to be some pretty wild claims, he uncovered a web of lies. The upshot: Terry Valenti admitted he lied about Battle Parsnips and many other things, and is now in jail waiting for extradition to Texas, while his restaurant is being evicted.

                                                                  For people in Buffalo, you may have been spared being flimflammed and cheated to the max. A good lesson here. Always question claims, and verify. Always.

                                                                  1. The End of Valenti's

                                                                    http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/201...

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                      Wonder how Janice Okun feels about that review now?

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        I still find the funniest part of that whole debacle the fact that he lied about winning Iron Chef. He could have lied about any winning dish but even in his wildest imagination the most sophisticated, creative dish he could conceive was 'sea bass stuffed with artichokes and parsnips."

                                                                    2. Just when you think this story's done and can't get any stranger:

                                                                      It was the Parsnips that did it: http://networkedblogs.com/twqsu