The Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street in Midway, welcomes cookbook author, food columnist and chef Abra Berens on Sept. 27 to a special dinner event and signing.

Holly Hill chef de cuisine Tyler McNabb will prepare a menu featuring several recipes from Berens' new cookbook, Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables.

Berens, like her host, Holly Hill Inn owner Ouita Michel, believes in eating seasonal foods, locally sourced. Berens started her career cooking at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, Mich., then trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, farmed for eight years, headed a Local Foods cafe in Chicago and is now a creating special dinners from local produce as a chef at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, Mich.

"I'm so thrilled to be coming to Holly Hill Inn for this dinner because over the last three years, I've been lucky enough to meet and get to know Ouita," Berens said. "She was part of my inspiration to move back to Michigan, seeing how a food business (or multiple in her case) can really shape a community."

Berens and Michel met in 2016 at the James Beard Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, a collaborative for chefs who work to improve the world's food systems. Berens was one of the first chefs Michel invited to the inaugural FEAST dinner in 2017, a fundraiser for FoodChain in Lexington.

"Abra Berens is an inspiration -- she has extensive farming experience and can grow anything," Michel said. "This background is part of what makes her culinary vision and skill so unique and delicious.

"Abra has given back to the Central Kentucky community over and over again by donating her time to FEAST and helping to turn the FoodChain teaching and processing kitchen into a reality. Tyler and I are so excited and honored to host her at Holly Hill Inn."

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a front-porch reception of hors d'oeuvres, special cocktail and wine, and book signing with Berens. Dinner seating begins at 6 p.m., with last seating at 7 p.m. The multicourse dinner, with vegetarian options, is $65. Award-winning wine list and full bar with premium spirits and bourbons available. For reservations, call (859) 846-4732 or go to

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