River City Six: Jeffrey Miller

Situated on 260 acres in Nebraska City, Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm is a full-service meeting facility with 140 fully-renovated guest rooms and suites, 14,000 square feet of adjustable meeting and banquet space, and a host of luxury amenities for guests to enjoy along with the natural beauty of the property. Jeffrey Miller is the Executive Chef at the Timber Dining Room, located at Lied Lodge & Conference Center.

Tell us a little about your business.

Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City is home to the award-winning Timber Dining Room. As Executive Chef, I run all of the dining and catering services that come out of our kitchen. One of our priorities is to provide guests with an all-around experience of what we are as part of the Arbor Day Foundation.

How did you get started in the business?

I began cooking when I was about 3 years old alongside my mom. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?

The ability to meet our guests’ wants and my needs as a chef. A chef’s creativity doesn’t always translate into what is most appealing to guests.

What has been your most important achievement professionally?

Being afforded this opportunity and ensuring the Timber Room is a successful source of revenue while keeping our guests satisfied.

Tell us a little about your family.

My wife Emily is the Pastry Chef at Lied Lodge and we have two children, Sophia (6) and Mason (7 mos.)

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?

Getting married. Emily really straightened me out and got me on the path I wanted to follow.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?

Watch Carolina Panthers football. I will be honest that I try and take my days off around their schedule during the NFL season.

What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?

Before I started cooking professionally, I was a drum instructor for Dalton High School in Dalton, GA.

What are you the most proud of?

There are a lot of things I’m proud of professionally, but I wouldn’t be here without my family, so I would have to say them.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

In this industry, work ethic is everything.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Bored by Deftones. Not for any reason other than I really like that song.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Teleportation. My 7-minute drive to work can be brutal some days.

If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?

Probably music in some way. I think it can get you through a lot.

What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?

The Arbor Day Foundation. Working here I’ve seen firsthand its impact on a small and large scale.

What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?

The Soul of a Chef by Michael Rhulman.

If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?

Bill Murray. I’ve met him and cooked for him in Charleston, SC, and he’s a real standup guy.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?

Phone: (800) 546-5433; Website: www.LiedLodge.org.