Nebraska Club executive chef Eric Leyden isn’t a close friend of Alex McKiernan of Robinette Farms, but he appreciates what McKiernan’s chemical-free vegetable operation has meant to area restaurants.
That’s why Leyden’s spearheading a special fundraiser to help McKiernan, who is rehabbing after a Jan. 7 car accident left him without the use of his legs.
“Chefs Supporting Agriculture” is a multi-course meal prepared by local chefs using locally raised beef and produce complemented with local wines, beers and coffees. It’s set for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Nebraska Club; cost is $70 per person, including a raffle ticket.
McKiernan, who runs Robinette Farms near Martell with his wife, Chloe Diegel, told the Journal Star in February the accident forced them “to step back from the business this year” in order to focus on his recovery.
“It dawned on me that perhaps as chefs we could do this to help a farmer,” Leyden said. “When farmers are down and out, you hear about other farmers coming to their aid. As chefs, I thought we could do something.”
The event will feature Leyden, Travis Green (Dish), Kevin Shinn (bread&cup), Lorin Dagle (Country Club of Lincoln), Maggie Pleskac (Maggie’s Vegetarian Cafe), Brandon Harpster (Single Barrel) and Linda Cox (Butterfly Bakery).
Sponsors are Certified Piedmontese Beef Co., The Mill, Branched Oak Farms, Beaver Bakery and Catering, Open Harvest Natural Food Coop, Modern Monks Brewing, Cookie Company, Deer Springs Vineyards, James Arthur Vineyards, WunderRosa Winery, Greta’s Gourmet, Grey Plume, The Grain Place, ShadowBrook Farm, Le Quartier Bakery, Blue Blood Brewing and Eagle Group.