Chef’s Table


Copy of 08.24.2017On Thursday, August 24, 2017,  local chefs are hosting a chef’s dinner to support Just Food, The Douglas County Food Bank. The chefs include Rick Martin and Mike Humphrey from Limestone Pizza Kitchen and Bar, TK Peterson from Merchant’s Pub and Plate, Ken Baker from Pachamama’s, Simon Bates from The Burger Stand, and Melinda Roeder from Cafe Beautiful. The event will celebrate local food, while giving back to the thousands who need food assistance here in Douglas County.

The event will be held at Abe and Jake’s Landing from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Tickets are $125.00 and include a multiple course meal and free beer and wine. Each chef will feature a signature dish at the event. The fundraiser will go towards funding the cooking class program at Just Food.

For tickets visit:

If you are a vegetarian, please email event coordinators at

Meet the Chefs

T.K Peterson

13731634_569115216601845_1042344160244153599_nT.K. Peterson from Merchants Pub & Plate. Chef T.K. was born and raised in Kansas. His love of cooking is deeply rooted in his childhood, having learned the science of food from his mother and the art of it from his father.

TK enrolled in the Culinary Program at Johnson County to begin his formal education, apprenticing at local restaurants including The Bleu Jacket and Teller’s. Since graduation, T.K. has spent his culinary career in Lawrence, leading the kitchens of the Eldridge and Oread hotels, and in 2013, he and his wife opened their own restaurant in historic Downtown Lawrence, Merchants Pub & Plate.
There they partner closely with local farmers and producers on their modernized Midwestern menu and strive to serve fun, approachable cuisine, to all who wish to eat and drink well.

TK’s love for his community runs deep. He enjoys volunteering with food-focused organizations including serving as a member of the Douglas County Food Policy Council and teaching area youth the value of cooking with fresh, sustainable food practices.

Chef TK has worked closely with Just Food over the years and is looking forward to partnering with fellow Chefs on this great event.

Patrick Ryan

13701091_570383699808330_7864660832473216472_o As executive chef/owner of Port Fonda, Patrick Ryan is at the forefront of the culinary revolution in Kansas City, Missouri and Lawrence. He takes a simple, ingredient-focused approach to Mexican street food, melding authentic flavors with a farm-driven Midwestern sensibility. Ryan’s passion for Mexican cuisine first developed from his relationship with the people, as he started working in the kitchen at a very young age alongside Mexican cooks. His love of the energy and foodstuffs led him to open the open the first iteration of Port Fonda, an underground restaurant in a vintage Airstream trailer, in summer 2010. He went on to open the brick-and-mortar Port Fonda in summer 2012, seamlessly translating the fast-paced, uncensored street-food mentality to a restaurant environment.

Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree from the Western State College of Colorado, followed by a culinary degree at Le Cordon Bleu’s Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. He then worked under celebrated chef Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago. A Kansas City native, Ryan returned to his hometown in 2010 to open Port Fonda, where he is not only executing food that no one else in the city is doing, but also preparing the food he is happiest cooking and thus infusing Port Fonda with a singular pulse and infectiously high energy. He was nominated for a Food & Wine The People’s Best New Chef award in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and most recently nominated for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef-Midwest 2015 and 2016.

Rick Martin

13344659_572094206303946_5987734165791157552_n Rick is the chef/owner of LiMESTONE – in Lawrence, former Executive Chef of Free State Brewing Company and former Culinary Arts Instructor at Eudora High School. In his 25+ years in the restaurant world, Rick has charted a career in local, rustic cuisine and craft beer, and was a frequent performing chef at the Great American Beer Festival. Rick believes in a simple, fundamentally sound style of cooking that honors the ingredients.

Chef Martin has a deep-rooted passion for supporting Farm to School programs and school gardening, founding the nonprofit Homegrown Lawrence in 2010 to fundraise for school gardening initiatives. He also created a ground-breaking series of cooking classes in partnership with Just Food, the local food bank, ensuring that all people, regardless of income, can experience the joys and benefits of healthy, home-cooked meals.

Simon Bates



Simon Bates, owner of The Burger Stand at The Casbah, began cooking in high school before attending the CIA in New York. He returned to Kansas and spent the next 6 years working in the restaurant industry under many talented chefs, including being sous chef under the brilliant Ken Baker at Pachamamas Restaurant and Star Bar. Simon moved to Chicago in 2007 and took a job as a server at the world renowned Alinea, which at that time had just been named the #1 restaurant in the country. Simon moved back to Kansas and opened The Burger Stand at The Casbah in 2009. 

Simon and his wife Codi opened Esquina in 2010, and a second Burger Stand in Topeka 2011. They plan to open their new culinary project Bon Bon, along with Bon Bon Gardens, in the Warehouse Arts District in East Lawrence this September.

Simon believes in taking care of his staff, customers, and community. Simon has a culinary foundation in French cooking but believes cooking shouldn’t be about the rules. He cooks from the heart and seasons with his senses he is always excited to do something new. There are a lot of people paving the way for an even better local produce/farmer scene and he looks forward to a constructive future in a town with such a vibrant and talented culinary community.

Ken Baker

13876583_573896816123685_8533469492980317439_nKen was the Executive Chef of Lawrence Beer Company and the former owner of Pachamamas Restaurant and Star Bar. Cooking professionally since 1989, he spent 3 years as kitchen manager of Teller’s. Ken moved to the San Francisco Bay area to attend the California Culinary Academy, graduating with honors in 1999. Ken went on to work with Chef Daniel Bonnot at Bizou Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chef Ken spent some time traveling in Australia and New Zealand before returning to the United States. Ken came over to Pachamama’s in the Spring of 1999 and began to implement his philosophy on food and cooking.

Taking the best ingredients, local and organic whenever possible and matching them with simple, yet refined techniques. The result is a monthly changing menu of New American Market Cuisine. This cuisine concentrates on bringing out the best and most natural flavors in foods. It re-introduces us to America’s great culinary heritage and an emphasis on seasonality and sustainability. While, Pachamama’s was permanently closed for business in February of 2015. Ken is adamant to stay firmly integrated with all past experiences, and the future.

Melinda Roeder

4daysChef Melinda Roeder is the current owner and sole employee of Cafe Beautiful. She offers dinner service 7 days a week, by reservation only at her private dining restaurant.  Roeder has always had artistic ambitions and that can be seen in the presentation of her cuisine as she believes that we eat with our eyes as much as our mouths,


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