Written by Donald A. Promnitz
Customers might be surprised to find that the Heirloom restaurant doesn’t have tomatoes on the menu, but according to Head Chef Justin Shannon, that’s because they just aren’t in season.
“Tomatoes don’t grow in December,” Shannon said. “So we want to make sure that when tomatoes are in season, those products are driving the restaurant and those kind of fill up the menu.”
In the meantime, Shannon and his kitchen staff are getting creative with seasonal vegetable including beets, carrots and cabbages. He said that a lot of restaurants are promoting farm-to-table fresh food, but Heirloom aims to practice what it preaches.
Opening its doors last Thursday in northeast Fresno’s Park Crossing Shopping Center, Heirloom was the idea of Brandon Smittcamp, Shannon, and Rema and Kevin Koligian.
“We always wanted to do something that really represents everything that we do in the Valley,” Smittcamp said. “All of the high-quality produce that we grow and put it in a casual environment where it’s quick but you’re not sacrificing quality for speed.”
This quality also means a meal they say will leave the customer satisfied but not heavy. Instead of using fat, for example, Shannon said they rely on a wood-burning stove, burning peach and almond wood for flavor. In addition to fresh produce, the bread and pasta are also homemade.
“We really want these techniques and quality to be across the board with anything that we’re preparing and serving,” Koligian said.
Smittcamp and the Koligians also own and operate Butterfish, a series of poke bowl restaurants. There are currently three Butterfish locations, including across the street from Heirloom. Heirloom is located near the center’s anchor tenants Trader Joe’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse.