Eric Leyden has left his job as executive chef at the Nebraska Club in Lincoln for the same position at the Sandhills Golf Club in Mullen.

He begins his new job in western Nebraska May 1.

“I really enjoyed the Nebraska Club,” said Leyden, who worked at the restaurant for 4½ years. “I felt like it was a great place for me to land here in Lincoln. I have enjoyed my time working with everybody. I feel fortunate. I loved it there.”

Leyden, who graduated from Lincoln Southeast High School and earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, became a certified chef through the American Culinary Federation.

He bounced around the country before landing in Bend, Oregon, where he was chef de cuisine at Robby J’s Bistro. He left Bend after 11 years to return to Lincoln to raise his family with his wife, Molly.

Since returning, Leyden has become quite visible on Lincoln’s dining scene, participating in various foodie events. He recently ran a one-day, pop-up kitchen at White Rabbit in downtown Lincoln.

He said the job at Sandhills GC is seasonal, which will allow him to go back to school when the club is closed to earn his associate’s degree, which he needs to teach.

“That was one reason,” he said, for taking the new gig. “Another, as a chef, you need to keep moving. Once you’ve been someplace for a while there’s a risk of becoming complacent.

“Personally, I’m not done pushing myself creatively. … This is a real unique opportunity.”

Dairy Store changes direction

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Dairy Store, at about 37th and Holdrege streets, stopped offering prepared lunch options April 15.

“We are refocusing our operation and getting back to our roots with an emphasis based firmly on our ice cream products,” a post on the store's Facebook page says.

The store will continue to offer coffee, a selection of grab-and-go convenience items and other university-produced grocery items.

Jeff’s Top Five: Pizza

I’ll be curious to see which Lincoln pizzeria is a favorite of readers. I’ll post our online survey Friday asking readers to vote for their favorite as the next category for Jeff’s Top Five: Second Edition. You’ll be able to find the survey at JournalStar.com/entertainment/dining. I’ll have the results next week.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7213 or jkorbelik@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSjeffkorbelik.


Features editor

Jeff Korbelik is the features editor and covers dining, performing arts, TV and local media. Follow him at @LJSjeffkorbelik.

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