By Danielle Coots

For the News-Current

BEAVERCREEK — National Hunger & Homeless week begins the week before Thanksgiving each year, but one area steakhouse has taken the sediment one step further with the help of one dedicated team member. Joe Murphy of Beavercreek’s LongHorn Steakhouse spends countless hours of his own time prepping, preparing and cooking wholesome meals for the homeless each and every week.

“I have a really good manager, Harrison, that pushed me to be number one in donations,” Murphy said. “Then a general manager from Moraine, did a lot of community work and taught me the importance. He was a great man and he passed away recently. So, I’m trying to fill his legacy. So, with that and Harrison pushing me it changed the way I thought about the food pantry. In order to donate our surplus, I had to think of something different to do in order for the pantry to accept our donations.”

LongHorn Steakhouse participates in a program called, The LongHorn Steakhouse Harvest that “harvests” the surplus food items such as the inside rings of onions, stems from mushrooms, barbecue sauce, and meats to provide to organizations that help feed the community.

The surplus items are appropriately stored and held until donated. But, for the past six months, Joe Murphy decided to take matters into his own hands to ensure that the food in pieces but recipients are able to experience the joy of delicious foods. He takes the surplus food items and prepares stews, soups, and high-quality meat or fish entrees. He cooks the meals, individually packages them and gets them ready for pickup- each and every week. These are recipes that are not available for LongHorn guests. They are special recipes created by Murphy.

“Since the Harvest program began in 2008, we’ve donated about 36,000 pounds of food, which is equivalent to 46,000 meals,” Managing Partner, Valerie Nauer. “A representative of the church picks up the food on a weekly basis so that the food maintains its nutritional value.”

Murphy grew up in a restaurant with his parents – experiencing all aspects of the restaurant business. He later obtained a job at Roosters before moving to LongHorn Steakhouse as a line-cook 10 years ago. Now, under leadership of the head chef, Murphy’s aspirations are endless and for the good of not only the company but for the community for which he works.

“One day, someone called the bartender and asked why we don’t offer the soup on the menu. That same person was a nurse that took her own patients down to the food pantry. She took time out of day to do this and that made me feel good about what I was doing,” Murphy said. “People love it and they enjoy it. Hearing those comments encourage me to crank out more food.”

The donations in each community are designated by the corporate offices of LongHorn Steakhouse. In the search for a donation location in the Beavercreek area, the First Baptist Church of Fairborn was chosen. Over the years, demand rose and created a higher than usual demand occurred. With each donation, the church’s needs are being met.

“It’s important to LongHorn to give back to the community,” Nauer said. “We try to be a positive driving force in all communities that we are in and this program allows us to do it on a weekly basis and that constant need is being met.”

LongHorn shared a recipe for the Thanksgiving holiday:

Harvest Mushroom Filet

Inspired by LongHorn Steakhouse’s Fall Chef’s Showcase Harvest Mushroom Filet

A tender filet topped with cremini, oyster and shiitake mushrooms in a hearty red wine bordelaise sauce.


¼ cup of oyster mushrooms, peeled

¼ cup of shiitake mushrooms, stem removed and sliced

½ cup of cremini mushrooms, quartered

4 filets, grilled

1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of red wine bordelaise sauce (store-bought or from scratch, recipe below)


Peel the oyster mushroom cluster and stem, then discard the center remaining cluster. Stems can be left on the mushroom. Combine trio of mushrooms with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and mix. Transfer mixture to a foil lined sheet try into a flat layer. Cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or when olive oil starts to bubble slightly. Set aside. Add mushrooms to bordelaise sauce and let warm. Spoon mushroom mixture over expertly grilled filets.

Red Wine Bordelaise Sauce

Inspired by LongHorn Steakhouse’s Fall Chef’s Showcase Harvest Mushroom Filet


1 teaspoon butter

4 large shallots, peeled and sliced

1 pinch salt

1 cup red wine

2 cups veal stock

Salt and pepper to taste


Add butter and shallots to a saucepan with a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-low heat until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add red wine and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and let mixture cook until it’s the consistency of syrup. Add chicken stock and return to simmer. Let simmer for approx. 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Recipe serves four.

For more information, contact Beavercreek LongHorn Steakhouse’s Managing Partner, Valerie Nauer at 937-431-8344.

Beavercreek LongHorn Steakhouse team member, Joe Murphy preparing food for the needy LongHorn Steakhouse team member, Joe Murphy preparing food for the needy

Beavercreek LongHorn Steakhouse Managing Partner (left to right), Valerie Nauer and team member, Joe Murphy. LongHorn Steakhouse Managing Partner (left to right), Valerie Nauer and team member, Joe Murphy.

By Danielle Coots