Chef Ranada Riley is well known in the Lexington dining community as one of the best up and coming chefs in the Lexington dining scene. She has a new diner in the works and as a tribute to her Southern roots she has decided to call it Lexington Diner.
Chef Ranada has come a long way in her cooking career. Most recently she was the executive chef at Champions Trace Country Club and she won 1st place Chefs Choice against 9 potential dishes at the January 24th Cardinal Hill Dinner and Auction. She is in the entry process of “Guy’s Grocery Games” and “Cutthroat Kitchen” on The Food Network! She has been the Guest Chef for celebrities William Shatner, Johnny Depp, John Michael Montgomery, and most recently blues artist Robert Cray. In the near future she will be the Guest Chef for Pat Benetar, The GooGoo Dolls, and Melissa Etheridge. Friends characterize her as a chef with “the most determination and perseverance to pursue her dreams.”
When asked how she describes the Lexington Diner, these words came to mind, “local, proud, fun, innovative, creative, tasty, healthy, not so healthy, classic, traditional, twisted… our diner is all this and more.”
Lexington Diner is slated for its Grand Opening on March 3rd and is located at 124 North Upper Street (corner of Short & Upper) in downtown Lexington. The menu will consist of modern diner fare with a trendy twist. They will serve breakfast all day with delicious items such as Crème Brulee French Toast, Mom’s Buttermilk Biscuits, Eggs Benedict, and Overstuffed Omelettes. Your taste buds will explode with her lunch items like Shrimp Ceviche, Shrimp & Grits, the delicious Upper Street Salad or The Cadillac Burger served with bacon, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and bourbon bbq sauce.
In addition to the opening they started a much needed funding campaign in order to assist them with equipment and supply purchases and the many inspections they have to go through. “We have a few private investors but we decided Kickstarter would be an excellent and easy way to supplement our desperately needed funding.” The funding campaign will close on March 10th. “From the response we have achieved on Facebook we knew we wanted this to be a community effort and wanted everyone, our fans, friends and the community to feel like they were a part of this diner. Now they have an excellent and easy way to participate.” They are seeking $2,000 or more to assist with expenses.
Their Kickstarter Campaign pledge levels range between $25 to $500 or more and they have set up some awesome rewards to pay the donors back. One of the rewards is naming a “special for the day” in your name or for $500 you can have Ranada cook for you privately. “We also have a couple of t-shirt campaigns going on at the same time if you want to be one of the first to own a Lexington Diner t-shirt or sweatshirt.”
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