Chef Breanna Beike Shares Her ‘Heritage’

Heritage Breanna BeikeThis month, Woodinville’s dining list expands with the addition of Heritage, a restaurant and bar conceived by chef owner/operator Breanna Beike. Located in the space formerly occupied by Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant in Hollywood Circle, Heritage is a 6,000-square-foot, 114-seat restaurant with a “come as you are” vibe, featuring an approachable menu of shareable items and entrees. While the concept will surely be attractive to visitors, Beike wants Heritage to be a place that locals call home.

The idea of “heritage” is central to Beike’s hospitality philosophy. Welded metal elements can be found throughout the space and pay homage to her father — a welder by trade — who helped instill in her a work ethic. And her mother taught her that food should be prepared with love and attention, not just opened and served. When Beike was 12, her mother gave her a recipe box with the engraving, “May you always cook with love and pride. Keep the heritage.”

I sat down with Beike at her home where she cooked an array of dishes from the Heritage menu. Gregarious and warm, Beike exudes the friendly charm of a natural people person. On the antique oak dining table sat a colorful board of roasted vegetables — fennel, rainbow carrots, mini peppers, green cauliflower — and a trio of dips including vibrant chimichurri, a truly tasty hummus spiked with cumin, and a robust nutty red pepper romesco that dressed up the fennel like a dream.

Beike is dedicated to seasonal ingredients and plans to feature many local products, but has a few imports she is excited to share with her customers. In addition to local cheeses from Cherry Valley Dairy and Beecher’s, Beike couldn’t wait for me to bite into the soft Drovers Road cheddar and cocoa/stout rind Chocolate Lab from Looking Glass Creamery out of Ashville, North Carolina, where her brother-in-law works. Accompanying the cheeses were French dried fruits procured from Rare Tea Cellar — apricots so plump, golden raisins so large, figs so juicy that it’s hard to believe they are actually dried.

Last year, Beike and her husband rented an apartment in Tuscany, lending inspiration to some of the menu items. The first course Beike set before me was a riff on the simple rustic classic: beans on toast. Beike’s version features escarole and white Tuscan beans with pancetta, diced fennel, thyme, and shaved pecorino on charred sourdough bread. Next came a deceptively simple arugula salad elevated with cubes of roasted golden beets, prosciutto, orange segments and two dollops of fromage blanc peeking out from the pile of greens dressed with white balsamic vinaigrette.

Growing up and learning to cook in kitchens around the Chicago area, Beike wasn’t exposed to a lot of coastal seafood. However, once she experienced the pleasures of things like caviar and scallops, she was hooked. She insists on fresh scallops caramelized to buttery perfection and served with crispy cauliflower, shaved fennel, golden raisins, mizuna (a Japanese mustard green), and a lightly curried applesauce.

Carnivores, fear not. Meat is well-represented on the Heritage menu, but instead of an expensive filet mignon or kurobuta pork chop, look for more affordable (and arguably tastier) cuts like hangar steak and braised pork shoulder. Look for the latter in cold months, “comfort food style” braised in bourbon-apple jus with handmade gnocchi, chanterelles, butternut squash, and kale. Beike reduces the jus until it is thick, then marries it to some heavy cream with a side of thyme and Parmesan.

Beike loathes the word “foodie” and considers her menu shareable, colorful, fun, and simple. “Nothing is confusing,” she says. Beike loves “old-school” cookbooks and often cracks open a huge pile on her kitchen island, scouring them for ideas and reminders. She served me an old-fashioned blueberry buckle — layers of batter, blueberries, and crumble topping so heavy, it buckles under its own density. The crumble topping caramelizes and crisps as it bakes, melting into the blueberry batter. I also tried goat cheese pound cake served with red wine-poached pears, a smear of crème fraiche, and sprinkles of Marcona almonds. Its beautiful simplicity belied an inherent sophistication with a restrained level of sweetness.

Heritage also has a full bar featuring classic cocktails, beer on tap, and wines by the glass and bottle. It will be “rosé all day” every day, thanks to a keg of Milbrandt rosé on tap and an entire “Porch Pounder” section featuring spritzers. In the mood for bubbles? Just ding a “Ring for Champagne” bell located throughout the restaurant. Or enjoy a cup of tea from one of Beike’s 175 antique teacup sets collected by her mother over the years.

As the smiling face of Heritage, Beike looks forward to sharing her culinary legacy and heart with the Woodinville community and its 1.7 million annual visitors for years to come. heritagewoodinville.com

Heritage

More about Beike

  • Under the same roof are Milbrandt Vineyards and Ryan Patrick tasting rooms, which will feature small plates provided by the Heritage kitchen.
  • Beike’s favorite cookbook is Patricia Wells At Home In Provence. Her go-to dessert recipe is the cherry almond tart.
  • Even though she is only 34, she has been working in kitchens for 20 years.
  • Her first job was at Dairy Queen — she says she would eat a pecan cluster Blizzard any day of the week.
  • She has two furry babies — a Boston Terrier named Dottie and a French Bulldog named Fennel.
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