It started innocently enough, as these things often do. Several of the One World crew, including myself and Robin Lasek were attending the Chefs Challenge at the BusChum back in September. The Chefs Challenge is a fantastic event that raises money for the Community Kitchens of Monroe County. It’s the brainchild of Tim Clougher, who I’ve known since the early days of Lennie’s when Tim worked here as a manager and we’ve been friends ever since. So everyone’s having a great time, the beer and wine are flowing. Brad Wilhelm, the MC, has time to fill as the chefs are doing their thing, and he’s offered up a few items to sell to the crowd in the packed house in a sort of informal auction format.
Robin leans over to me as says, “Hey! We should donate a dinner with Shadow, and people could come out to the farm and meet her.” Shadow is our bottle-baby Asian Water Buffalo orphan who is growing up at Loesch farm and at the time was about 5 months old. Well, we all thought this was a grand idea and penned a quick vision: An Evening with Shadow at Loesch Farm, along with a home-style northern Chinese dinner for 6 (Nana, who hails from Shanxi China was sitting next to me and eagerly agreed to be chef for the night.)
The bidding was fast and furious, and in the end Herb Caldwell took the prize by offering up an exceeding generous $950 for the opportunity to dine alfresco with a few of his best friends and our darling little bovine. The appointed night arrived and as karma would have it, it could not have been more beautiful; a warmish October evening in the low 60’s. Nana cooked up an amazing meal on her propane powered farm-wok. I brought out more BBC beer (10 Speed Rooftop IPA) than I ever thought we’d drink (just to be safe), though by the end, only a couple bottles remained as we enjoyed the evening all the way to midnight, basking in the light of what would be the last campfire of the year at Loesch Farm, grateful for the joys of friendship, real food, and the pleasure of giving back.
By Jeff Mease
Founder & CEO