THE HERITAGE TABLE IN FRISCO FORGES LINKS THROUGH FOOD
PHOTOS BY JESSIE HAGAN
RECIPES COURTESY OF THE HERITAGE TABLE
Rich Vana, chef and owner of The Heritage Table in Frisco, knows that, as he says, “working with farms is hard, but farming is harder.” Birds ambush blackberry bushes; pigs escape their pens and gallivant into the woods for an afternoon of shenanigans; hens that are too hot in summer refuse to lay eggs. Farmers and ranchers work within the confines of nature’s whims, and the product is perpetually unpredictable. Vana is well aware of and even celebrates these uncertainties. He uses them to fuel his culinary creativity. His menu is ever-changing and offers a direct reflection of what is being grown and made available day to day. Every bit of food served at The Heritage Table is thoughtfully sourced from purveyors, most of which are right here in Texas.
As an example, a dish called The Whole Beast is a take on a Texas ramen of sorts. What’s in your bowl can change daily. The rich broth might be made from any number of bones and vegetable scraps. The soft-boiled egg may come from one farm, while the egg yolks in the house-made noodles another. The protein in the bowl is a product of whimsy and chance: whatever farmers have, that’s what Vana uses. This dish, among others, captures The Heritage Table’s commitment to supporting farmers and keeping diners on their toes through creativity melded with comfort.
All of this makes for more than a traditional “farm-to-table” experience. Rather, it’s a larger symbiotic experience that involves nature, farmer, chef, back-of-house staff, front-of-house staff, table, and diner. And no step in this multifaceted symbiotic relationship is executed without care and critical thinking. Both chef and staff embody the philosophy that food is one element of the hospitality experience. Vana not only executes at the highest level in his kitchen, he also cherishes the connection with guests enjoying his food.
In this hundred-plus-year-old home, the beautifully worn wooden floors show the paths taken to provide an elevated and thoughtful dining experience. The staff, including “Hospitality Maven & Farm Ambassador” manager Abby Christian, is down to earth, but polished. The combination of warmth and professionalism strikes a beautiful balance at each service, with each dish. Through loyal relationships with its farmers, boundless creativity in the kitchen, and a relaxed but focused dining room, the staff at The Heritage Table embodies the true meaning of rooted hometown hospitality. With these recipes, you can take a taste of the table home with you.
7110 Main St., Frisco