Jens Hansen

  • "Thanks to you both for so much in our younger days / Tak..."
    - Helga Djurhuus Jacobsen
  • "Thanks to you both for so much in our younger days / Tak..."
    - Helga Djurhuus Jacobsen
    - Camden Wall
  • " Jens Haagen Hansen left this physical world in December..."
  • "Long after the bloom fades, the bud remains; in doing so..."
    - Kathy Fisher (Yates)

Jens Haagen Hansen, 68, passed away at Providence Alaska Medical Center after a period of declining health, his wife Annelise was by his side. Born March 19, 1944 in Copenhagen, Denmark to Anna Cornelius Knudsen and Sven Haagen Hansen. He had an early love of cooking. Upon completing his cook's apprenticeship at Hotel Terminus in Copenhagen, he spent a year in France studying and working. After returning to Denmark, Jens served with the Danish Army for 10 months. In 1967 he was offered a job in Alaska at the Hotel Captain Cook and moved to Anchorage in January 1968, where Annelise joined him in 1969, and they married.

Jens worked for the hotel for 18 years with a year off to work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. He joined with other Chefs to form the Anchorage Chefs Association, their goal was to improve the quality of meat, fish and produce available to local chefs. His passion for quality food was a constant in his life.

In 1988 he opened Jens' Restaurant in Midtown where he provided good food and fun. For many years he would play CDs in the Bodega for the after dinner guests after cooking both lunch and dinner, later he left the hot kitchen to the younger cooks and worked the cold appetizer station in the Bodega, where he could greet customers and keep an eye on things, his health forced him to leave the running of the restaurant to his wife and capable staff. He trained many cooks over the years and was always proud when they opened their own restaurants or went on to bigger jobs elsewhere. Jens was an active member of Chaine des Rotiseurs and The International Wine and Food Society.

He enjoyed his annual January trips with his wife to wine regions all over the world where he would get inspiration for new dishes for the menu, and find interesting wines for his wine list. His annual trips with "The Butte Creek Boys" were always a fall highlight for him. Most mornings he could be found at Rilley's at 10:00 a.m.

Jens is survived by his wife of 43 years Annelise; his brother Jan Cornelius Knudsen and sister in-law Rosita of Copenhagen, Denmark; his nephew Christian Cornelius Knudsen and wife Zabeth of Minneapolis MN; niece Kamilla Bock and husband Troy of Arlington VA and niece Heidi Trolle-Enevoldsen and husband Niels of Bryrup, Denmark.

Jens will be remembered by his family and many friends for his contribution to the Anchorage culinary scene, his fun loving personality and his love of good food and wine.

A celebration of life will be held at the Captain Cook Hotel January 2nd from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Arrangements were with Janssen's Evergreen Memorial Chapel.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Dec. 13 to Dec. 14, 2012