written by Julie Lee
Ancient Heritage Dairy is churning the restaurant landscape in Portland with a scene-stealing “aha” concept: produce artisan European-style cheese in the heart of a city and make it center stage in dishes all over town. Portland’s first urban creamery in nearly a century, Ancient Heritage moves the farm-to-table movement one step further by producing starring ingredients steps away from chefs’ fingertips. Owner Hank Obringer launched the creamery inside the historic Weatherly building that manufactured ice cream, butter and cheese in the 1920s, inspired “to work more closely with the food culture in Portland” than he could on the farm where he grew up. Using both cow and sheep’s milk, Ancient Heritage produces barn-burning award winners like the bloomy-rind Adelle and Valentine cheeses and the signature Hannah, which took first place in category at American Cheese Society last year and is used by Jake Stevens at Beast in his arugula pesto dish. Chef Matt Sigler uses wheels of Ancient Dairy’s Isabella cheese piped into delicate pasta in Renata’s addictive Isabella Scarpinocc with broccoli.
1311 SE Main St.