Rising Star Chef Jake Howell of Peninsula - Biography

Nashville, TN

May 2022

Growing up in Sandpoint, Idaho, Jake Howell dreamed of becoming an artist but needed a job to subsidize his painting. Howell moved to Seattle and jumped around kitchens, including Pike Place Market’s famous City Fish. After a couple years, he stepped away from the industry to focus on art, but by his mid-20s, Howell was bored with his career. He found a job at Rain Shadow Meats, finally ready to take cooking seriously. In 2009, he joined Sea Creatures restaurant group where he spent the next three years working for James Beard Award-winning Chef Renee Erickson at seafood restaurants Walrus & Carpenter and Bar Melusine.

Howell had an urge to settle down in a smaller, calmer city, so when he and Restaurateurs Yuriko Say and Craig Schoen decided to open a restaurant, Howell suggested a move to Nashville. Peninsula opened in East Nashville in 2017 with a menu loosely inspired by the flavors and techniques of the Iberian Peninsula, designed to complement its extensive Spanish wine and sherry list. Since opening, Howell and his small kitchen team of three have continued to plate humble, whimsical dishes like fried sweetbreads with toasted rice milk and habanero-oil-coated tomato raisins and steamed kohlrabi with anchovy gelée, horseradish butter, and rosehip emulsion.