With a lifetime of cooking, restauranteuring and service under his belt, Howard Jachens landed in February at Cafe at Adele’s as its new manager, in what is viewed as a homecoming of sorts.
“Charlie (Abowd, chef and co-owner of Cafe at Adele’s) and I met in 1983, when I was co-owner of Zackary’s (restaurant) at Zephyr Cove,” Jachens said. “Through the years, Charlie kept an eye on me, and I kept coming in (to Adele’s) for lunch and dinner, so when he asked, I said yes.”
While he’s now in the front of the house, Jachens’ history with the food and culinary industry began right out of high school when he attended San Francisco State University’s Culinary Arts School.
It didn’t hurt he grew up in Napa Valley, the land of wonderful cuisine and wine, an environment that contributed to his own passion for food.
Right out of school, he landed a job at Sahara at Tahoe and “never left.”
Through the years, his management experience has seen him move and open Zachary’s in Embassy Suites Hotel at Lake Tahoe in 1991, then onto 10 years at Wally’s Hot Springs, where he opened that award-winning restaurant. Most recently, he opened Tahoe Ridge Winery’s Minden location.
“I have always been an opener and I equally love the front and back of the house,” he said. “What I do love about being in front is seeing the customers and having them say, ‘We’ve been coming in here since Paul and Adele (Abowd) were owners,” he said. “We have staff that have been here forever — Sheila Ashley for 37 years, Mark and Ellen Nacreau for 27 years and many others who have been here 10-plus years and Steve (Sanchez, sommelier) whom I have learned so much from in just three weeks,” Jachens said. “They are all professionals and family.”
“Howard joining us was one of those serendipitous things,” Abowd said. “We were always in touch and the opportunity was there, the timing was perfect, and we look forward to good things ahead.”
To Jachens way of thinking, his role at Cafe at Adele’s is simple.
“We’re getting back to that classic Adele’s service and continue to grow our local following,” he said. “Everything is here and in place to foster that.”