Buffalo in the 70’s: ‘Around the table at Chef’s’

By Steve Cichon

Politicians and paisanos of a past era filled Chef’s on the day in 1979 when News reporter Anthony Cardinale stopped by with a notebook to absorb some of the feeling of a landmark. Thirty-five years later, Chef’s is still going strong.

Buffalo Stories archives

“Around the table at Chef’s”

“ ‘My restaurant’s success is in his memory,’ Lou Billittier says when he’s asked about the chef after whom his restaurant is named.

“ ‘The chef was Attillo Silvestrini, and we still use his recipes,’ Lou says. ‘He trained me when I first started working here in 1941. I was 12.’

“ ‘He had a temper, but it was a mellow temper. If you didn’t do things right, you got the spatula! I was a dishwasher, bus boy, waiter, manager, part owner. …’”

Buffalo Stories archives

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.