Person Behind The Place:
Tanya Emerick, pastry chef extraordinaire, is more than meets the eye. She began a career in hospitality and traveled the world in sales and marketing roles for hotels. Things changed when Tanya stepped foot into Paris. There, she met Scott Emerick, a classically trained chef with expertise in French cooking and pastry making. He taught her all about macarons, meringues, eclair, ganache and so much more. Tanya took the skills she was taught, made them her own, and eventually they decided to get married. Since Paris, she's worked in several restaurants, started her own macaroon wholesale company, and most recently started a new chapter at The Lakehouse and Civility & Unrest with Scott. Tanya doesn't let anything get in her way, which shows through the success she's built up through the years. We sat down with her to discuss the reopening of The Lakehouse and her favorite places in Downtown Bellevue.
How did you end up as the pastry chef at The Lakehouse?
My husband Scott and I have known the owner Jason Wilson for several years. Our friendship started when he opened Crush and we were opening our restaurant, Cremant, in a nearby neighborhood. We've worked with Jason on many projects and catering. He reached out to us this year when he was thinking about reopening The Lakehouse. I feel fortunate for this opportunity to drive pastry, have full creativity, and to source the treasures in our retail shop.
What has it been like reopening in an incredibly uncertain time? How has COVID-19 impacted you?
It’s been an interesting time, for anyone in the world, and everyone in the restaurant industry. We never know what will happen next, from masks to vaccines, mandates to closures. What I try to do is control what I can. In this case, macarons and pastries are always loved. They are a sweet treat that brings a smile to people’s faces, which brings me such joy! Scott and Jason and I have planned, tested, created, and re-created again. We are doing what we can and doing it the best we know how. We firmly believe that people will enjoy it. If another closure happens, we have contingencies to help the restaurant.
What are you most excited about reopening?
Seeing guests again! Opening our doors to provide a great experience that will give people an escape from whatever their day brought to them. To provide them with delicious sustenance and beautiful food. That all creates the undeniable buzz of a restaurant - a restaurant’s rhythm - that anyone in this business thrives from!
What pastries can we look forward to trying at The Lakehouse?
Everything will be new on the menu! We cook very seasonal and change the menu often. The dessert menu will be a seamless transition from aperitifs to dessert. The autumn menu will be filled with things such as Caramel Apple Tart, Double Chocolate Cake, Pear Frangipan Tart, Chocolate Pot du Crème with Orasella maraschino cherry, and Pumpkin Cake with pumpkin ganache and brown butter cream cheese frosting. And some of my favorite items will make appearances too, like various pavlovas and my absolute favorite: macarons, including the foie gras macaron. I love creating macarons that fit a moment, so whether that means holidays, weddings, or special events – I create the flavors, colors, and hand-paint the macarons to fit a moment.
What do you love about working in Downtown?
The potential! The vibrancy! The hustle and bustle, paired with the leisure shopper and the family outing. We have so much here, all built on a history that is part of who we are at The Lakehouse: strong farmlands, local products, artisan offerings.
Any favorite places to dine out in Downtown?
My favorite place right now is Cafe Cesura. It’s warm and welcoming and supportive of the community. Shawn makes a fantastic macchiato and the Matcha Tea Latte always has just the right sweetness.
Any hidden gems you'd like to share in the downtown area?
The best hidden gem is the Wine Shop at the Lakehouse. Scott has carefully selected a list of biodynamic & organic wines. And there is a wonderful selection of books - the children’s cookbooks are my favorite. I also absolutely love Bellevue Downtown Park. We take our English bulldog, Marmalade, there often. Downtown Park isn’t a hidden gem, but it is a gem.
Anything else you’d like to share in regards to the grand opening?
Our entire team is thrilled to be opening our doors! We’ve put together a menu of French comfort food that we believe guests will crave. Our retail store will have some very treasured items, including charcuterie, artisan cards and gifts, adaptogens for the body, memorable lifestyle products, local pantry staples from Bow Hill Farm, Flying Bird Botanicals tea, Orasella maraschino cherries, natural and biodynamic wines, French confections, and so much more! And you might meet our English bulldog, Marmalade.
Follow The Lakehouse on social for up-to-date opening news and happenings.
Person Behind the Place is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
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10455 NE 5th Place
Bellevue, WA 98004