Beyond the Apron - Jake Howell

Each month, we’ll chat with one of Nashville’s chefs about what life is like beyond the apron.      


Jake Howell 

Executive Chef / Owner, Peninsula

Live: East Nashville / Work: East Nashville


When an opportunity to open Peninsula presented itself here in Nashville, this Executive Chef didn't hesitate to make the move.  A desire to "know more" spurs his creativity in the kitchen and allows for us to enjoy dishes not found anywhere else in Music City. 

Where do you dine when the apron is off? 

Hoang Tofu, InterAsian Market & Deli, Husk, Urban Cowboy, Bastion, Ed’s Fish and Pizza House and Hugh Baby's

Go to spot for drinks?

I don’t really drink so I don’t spend much time in bars. I really enjoy hanging out at Cowboy and my girlfriend loves the drinks there. Dino’s is another spot we end up at from time to time.    

What inspired you to become a chef?

Nothing particularly romantic. I think the thing that propelled me forward in cooking was the desire to know more. I’m most inspired by the idea that I can constantly evolve and grow as a cook.

Advice you would you give aspiring chefs?

Have a life outside of cooking. Finding separation is crucial to being happy and healthy in this industry.


What brought you to Nashville?

I moved here to open Peninsula.

How can Nashville improve?

Summer could be a bit shorter.

Thing you are most excited about at work right now?

I’m excited about a lot of things. Our staff is awesome. My Sous, Cody, is an incredibly talented person and is doing some really special stuff in the kitchen. Everything is really starting to click and I can’t wait to see in what direction the food will go next. The insane pork we’re getting from Wedge Oak Farm--it’s just ridiculously good. We just got in a big batch of aji dulce peppers from Sounding Stone Farms that I’m crazy about.

What should people be ordering at Peninsula right now?

We’re serving a grilled mushroom and uni dish that I’m super into right now, or the txistorra.