Bio: Heather Terhune's family knew something was up when she asked for artichokes and spare ribs as a fourth birthday present. Food has been on her mind ever since. And for as long as anyone can remember, she has always had a knack for knowing what people want to eat.
After more than a decade perfecting American favorites at Chicago's beloved Loop mainstay Atwood Café, located adjacent to Kimpton's Hotel Burnham, Terhune's focus at Sable Kitchen & Bar shifts to contemporary New American social plates. Terhune uses Sable's state-of-the-art open kitchen to interact with guests and serve food that is both innovative and appealing in its simplicity.
Terhune grew up in picturesque St. Albans, Vermont, and first discovered her passion for cooking while canning vegetables and making preserves under the watchful eyes of her mother and grandmother. The Terhunes later moved to Missouri, and Heather graduated from the University of Missouri (Columbia) with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture and hotel/restaurant management. Next stop: the New England Culinary Institute, from which she graduated in 1995.
The chef began honing her craft as a professional chef in The Willard Room at Washington, D.C.'s venerable Willard Hotel, often described as the "crown jewel of Pennsylvania Avenue." Other posts in D.C. included The Watergate Hotel's famed Jean Louis restaurant, where she worked under Michelin three-star recipient Jean Louis Palladin until his retirement. Terhune then moved to Durham, North Carolina, to work at Pops Trattoria as Executive Sous Chef and Pastry Chef. In 1998, she was hired as part of the opening team at 312 Chicago, where her dessert menu caught the taste buds of Tribune dining critic Phil Vettel, who described her work as some of Chicago's best. She later helped open Mossant Bistro (now South Water Kitchen), and, at age 28, was promoted to Executive Chef at Atwood Café.
A fan of the "eat local" movement, Terhune also understands that giving back to the community and providing guests with what they want are intricately tied. "You know you are needed and you know what you love to eat so you give from your heart," says Terhune. "It's that simple."
Terhune lives in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood and spends her time outside the kitchen exploring her vibrant city, its lakefront and culinary scene.