Alder Creek Café brings new chef, David Smith, onboard, and features a new winter menu |

Alder Creek Café brings new chef, David Smith, onboard, and features a new winter menu

Cassandra Walker |

After a long day gliding through the forest on Tahoe Donner’s cross-country trails, Alder Creek Café welcomes outdoor enthusiasts and families to refuel with a menu of seasonally inspired fresh dishes made from scratch.

Along with the new year, Alder Creek Café is welcoming a new chef, David Smith, who has made his way around Lake Tahoe bringing his flavors to several popular eateries including Chambers Landing, The West Shore Café and most recently Cottonwood, where he spent 22 years at the kitchen’s helm.

Smith says he grew up working various restaurant jobs in high school, and his parents pushed for a culinary path in his college years.

“Instead, I went to school for psychology and anthropology. I’d had friends who took ski winters away, and long story short I moved here solo and never looked back,” he said.

Smith is most inspired by Asian style cuisine, but says lately he builds his menu mainly off of the freshest flavors in season.

He is most excited to bring his brand of homemade, fresh, quality ingredients and dishes to life for Tahoe Donner’s visitors.

“Everything is made from scratch, down to the soups, salads and salad dressings. People in Tahoe are health conscious and want to know what is in their dishes — especially those with food allergies. We make everything from scratch, that’s just what I believe in,” he said.

Alder Creek Café currently offers Smith’s new winter menu with chicken wings and poutine starters, entrees including a Cuban Panini with sliced ham and roasted pork loin, a house made black bean and beet veggie burger, and even butternut squash enchiladas.

“I just would hope that people who dine here can appreciate what we’re doing by putting the time and effort into serving whole foods,” Smith said.

Those whole ingredients are sourced locally, from the Tahoe Food Hub among other local vendors and comprise a new menu for the winter season and even more flavors to come year-round.

The après scene is welcoming with a lounge and bar area as well.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

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