Saratoga Springs

A win and a loss for Saratoga chef featured on TV

Bobby Flay in "Beat Bobby Flay" (Food Network/Tribune News Service). Inset: Chefs Jeannette Liebers and Chris Bonnivier. (provided/YouTube)
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Bobby Flay in "Beat Bobby Flay" (Food Network/Tribune News Service). Inset: Chefs Jeannette Liebers and Chris Bonnivier. (provided/YouTube)

SARATOGA SPRINGS  — Saratoga Springs chef Jeannette Liebers had a win and a loss on Thursday night’s episode of “Beat Bobby Flay.”

Liebers, the owner of Sweet Mimi’s Cafe and Bakery, went up against Chris Bonnivier, the former executive chef at The Adelphi Hotel, also located in Saratoga, during the first part of the episode. They had to make a dish containing Portuguese sweet sausage.

“… I took the sausage and removed it from its casings and turned it into an elegant pasta dish,” Liebers said.” I think they were all a little surprised with that which of course worked in my favor.”

She won against Bonnivier, though things didn’t go as well when facing off with Flay.

“Do I have any regrets that I did not beat Bobby Flay? I would be lying if I said ‘No.’ Not because of my pride. I simply knew in my heart, I could beat him,” Liebers posted in a blog after the show aired. “All the little missteps in the presentation or not requesting to do the dish I had my heart set on … maybe the outcome would have been different … maybe.”

She went on to write: “It was a thrill to compete against Bobby Flay and to have close friends, family and staff on set and back home to cheer me on. I am so grateful that I am surrounded by such a supportive community. Luckily for me, I had a home to return to the very next day. As I arrived at Sweet Mimi’s Cafe at dawn, put my key in the door, turned on the lights, the fans, the coffee maker and the music, I made my way to the kitchen to begin whipping egg whites into a perfect meringue to fold into my lemon ricotta pancakes. Instead of a twinge of regret, I was filled with warmth for having the experience and for returning to the place I adore to do what I love.”

Liebers has run Sweet Mimi’s since she opened the establishment on Phila Street in 2013, focusing on baked goods, brunch and other items. She landed a spot on “Beat Bobby Flay” in 2019 after Flay paid the cafe a visit.

Since the episode aired, she’s already seen new customers coming in.

“This morning when I went to the cafe, our very first customer of the day said that they had gotten up at 5 in the morning, gotten in the car and had driven up from Long Island to have our lemon ricotta pancakes,” Liebers said.

While the episode didn’t turn out as Liebers hoped, she’d be up for another chance to compete.

“… Bobby Flay is more than welcome to come back to the cafe anytime and maybe we could arrange a rematch,” Liebers said in a video posted on Facebook.

For more on Sweet Mimi’s, visit sweetmimiscafe.com.

Categories: Food, News, Saratoga County

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