Chef Lane Meinert brings the magic to The Mixer’s menu! Born and raised in Jefferson City, Tenn., Chef Lane developed a passion for cooking at a young age. He is the oldest of three brothers and enjoyed cooking breakfast for his younger siblings from the age of ten. Before long he was grocery shopping, picking out spices and providing dinner for his family.
“My love of cooking began early,” he said. “I didn’t know being a chef was a thing, but I knew I enjoyed being in the kitchen.”
His family’s fine-dining restaurant in East Tennessee gave him a taste of the hospitality industry and his mother and grandmother taught him the culinary basics, but it was his maternal grandfather who passed down Lane’s favorite recipe to date – a recipe that Lane still enjoys preparing and one that will be enjoyed by The Mixer patrons in Downtown Hopkinsville.
Frank Bokorny, Lane’s grandfather, was a German Czech, who often cooked pork sauerkraut and dumplings. Inspired by his grandfather, Chef Lane has spent time throughout his career developing German recipes, but none have been received as well as his rendition of Bokorny’s potato dumplings.
Chef Lane has worked as a chef since 1997. Prior to this position, his nine years of restaurant experience went back to his early years when he started by washing dishes, then moved up to prep cooking. By the time he was 14, he ran the line on his own. His professional experience as a chef began in Nashville, where he had gained restaurant management experience. A group of chef mentors encouraged him to learn the trade by working instead of culinary school.
“They told me to stick with them and they would teach me what I needed to know,” said Chef Lane. “I had proven to them that I had the palate and business knowledge to be successful.”
After owning two California restaurants, Lane returned to Nashville to continue his passion and an eye toward professional growth, where his ambition led him to the Harper House in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where he met Graham Dawson and Heather Harvey, owners of The Mixer.
“Chef Lane has given a special experience to the people of Hopkinsville,” said Dawson. “At the Harper House, people would ask for the special without even knowing what it was. They just knew that anything from Chef Lane would be worth trying. Having him and the community that comes with him is helpful for what we are trying to do with this new restaurant.”
The three former employees of the Harper House have formed quite the team for Hopkinsville’s newest restaurant. They are grateful to the restaurant that brought them together and shaped their experience in the restaurant industry. Chef Lane is proud to bring his signature flavors to a new place in town.
“My vision for The Mixer is to execute what Heather and Graham see fit for their restaurant. We formed a friendship years ago and are comfortable working together. That stability is important to me because my cooking hasn’t changed. I use different ingredients and different techniques, but my signature is the same. Locals who eat at The Mixer will know the food comes from me.”