Originally from picturesque St. Albans, Vermont, Executive Chef Heather Terhune first discovered her passion for cooking while canning vegetables and making preserves under the watchful eyes of her mother and grandmother. Enjoying the natural bounty of Vermont was a way of life for the Terhune family, who hunted, fished, gardened, tapped trees for maple syrup and even raised pigs. Her family first noticed her culinary interest at the age of four, when she asked for artichokes and spareribs as a birthday present. Food has been on her mind ever since.
While spending most of her childhood in New England, Chef Terhune considers herself a proud Midwesterner. Her family moved to Missouri during her teenage years, and she graduated from the University of Missouri before attending the New England Culinary Institute, which provided her with a foundation for classic French cooking. Her first professional cooking position was at The Willard Room in Washington DC's venerable Willard Hotel, and she later joined the team at The Watergate Hotel's famed Jean Louis restaurant, where she worked under Michelin three-star recipient Chef Jean Louis Palladin.
After a stint at Pops Trattoria in Durham, North Carolina, as sous chef and pastry chef (a role she considers to be her first culinary passion) Chef Terhune headed to Chicago to become the pastry chef at 312, before taking on her first executive chef position on the opening team of Atwood. After spending a decade mastering her skills with American comfort food at this beloved Loop mainstay, she moved on to Sable Kitchen + Bar at Kimpton's Hotel Palomar in downtown Chicago, where she created a menu of both innovative and approachable dishes that highlighted the quality of their local ingredients.
With the opening of BDK, Chef Terhune brings her experience creating classic American dishes with contemporary flavors to San Francisco. Her playful menu features the soulful cooking of her Midwestern upbringing, while drawing inspiration from her early career in French cuisine and the bounty of Northern California farms.