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Kirsten Dixon on Alaskan Cooking

Kirsten Dixon on Alaskan Cooking

We talk to the author and lodge owner about her new editon of 'The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook'

If you want to eat Kirsten Dixon’s cooking you normally have to take a small plane to her Winterlake Lodge, 200 miles northwest of Anchorage. But luckily, for those who want to taste Alaskan cooking without making the journey, you can also pick up the newest edition of her cookbook, The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook.

She has lived in the back country of Alaska for more than 30 years, and she and her husband have enjoyed running their lodge for adventure and culinary travelers alike. With her book, she hopes to give readers a better understanding of Alaskan cuisine beyond just crab legs and salmon. "Certainly there’s a deeper story — we have a lot of wild game, we have berries, we have Pacific Ocean seafood products available to us, and we have a very vibrant farmer scene in Alaska as well," she says.

For more from Dixon you can watch the video above or pick up the cookbook! And if her story has you hankering for a trip to Alaska, you can always hop on a plane and stay at the Winterlake Lodge yourself.


Kirsten Dixon

Mother-and-daughter chefs Kirsten and Mandy Dixon cater to a crowd that loves a little something wild. Wild as in the Alaskan countryside, where the Dixon family’s seaside Tutka Bay Lodge (about 200 miles from Anchorage) and secluded backcountry Winterlake Lodge (at Rainy Pass, along the Iditarod Trail) serve up outdoor adventure along with meals highlighting local Alaskan produce. Salmon, halibut, rockfish, Dungeness crab, and Kachemak Bay oysters, as well as berries, honey, and mushrooms are inspirations for the Dixons’ menus, as well as for their two cookbooks, the Winterlake Lodge Cookbook and the Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook (the latter a winner of a 2015 award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals).

With her husband, Carl, Kirsten launched their Alaskan adventure-lodge business more than 30 years ago. “He was the guide and I was the cook,” says Kirsten, a former nurse who was inspired while running the lodge to take a break to pursue serious culinary studies at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Later she earned a master’s degree in gastronomy from the University of Adelaide, in Australia.

While Kirsten is mostly at the stove at Tutka Bay and Mandy runs the Winterlake kitchen, they both take part in the lodges’ cooking school, launched in 2010 and based on a repurposed crabbing boat moored in a lagoon outside the Tutka Bay Lodge. They also host informal pre-dinner culinary sessions in the respective kitchens.


Voyage To Alaska with Kirsten and Mandy Dixon

To be honest, we had to look up Tutka Bay on the map. FYI: it’s in Alaska.

Tutka Bay Lodge is located nine ocean miles from the charming seaside community of Homer, Alaska, along the Kachemak Bay. Access to the lodge is by a twenty-five minute water taxi south across the bay from Homer. Along the way, you might observe various shore and water birds, sea otters, sometimes Orcas, Humpbacks and other marine mammals.

That said, it was with pleasure that we did so. For when “The Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook” came across our desk and we started flipping through the pages of this wonderful tome, we knew that not only did we want to know more about it, but we also needed to find a way to get its authors, the mother/daughter culinary team of Kirsten and Mandy Dixon, on our show.

For those thinking that the food in the book may resemble something they may spot on the Kilcher Family dinner table in an episode of Discovery Channel’s Alaska: The Last Frontier, fear not, there’s not one Moose recipe in the book. No frontier cooks, both Kirsten and Mandy have been trained professionally, with Kirsten attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and Mandy the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu’s California outpost.

Chef Kirsten Dixon Chef Mandy Dixon

Yet, the inspiration for their culinary interpretation stays close to their home base on the coast of Alaska, where Kirsten and her husband Carl settled three decades ago to open The Tutka Bay Lodge on the coast of Kachemak Bay, now also home to the Cooking School at Tutka Bay and Winterlake Lodge, a “fly-in only” lodge in Alaska’s Wilderness.

Situated on the western edge of the Alaska Range, Winterlake lodge nestles on fifteen acres along Mile 198 of the Historic Iditarod Trail. The lodge overlooks Finger Lake where we land by float plane in the summer and ski plane in the winter. The property offers five individual guest cabins, a central main lodge, gardens, sled dog lot, and a sauna house. The hand built, knotty pine guest cabins provide luxury and cozy space to rest and rejuvenate after a day’s adventure.

Billed as a cookbook to celebrate “Coastal Cuisine from the Wilds of Alaska,” The Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook is a glimpse into the sophisticated side of working with Alaska’s seafood-heavy food bounty. Sure, it’s got a bunch of Salmon and Crab dishes, and it certainly features recipe items that are of an Alaskan “foragers” origin like Bullwhip Kelp and fresh Rose Hips, but it’s in no way a locavore cookbook. It’s just a damn good cookbook that will inspire all who read it to delve into the well thought-out recipes that line its pages.

TUTKA BAY LODGE COOKBOOK
Winner of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Cookbook Award. Available nationwide.

To make things even more enticing, along the way The Tutka Lodge Cookbook is laced with recipes that show local ingredient-based dishes peppered with global inflections inspired from the many trips Kirsten and Mandy have taken in their never-ending quest to learn the world’s different cuisines and bring them home to their inquisitive clientele.

Melanie Young and David Ransom are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple. For us on [email protected] Listen to all our shows anytime on iHeart.com and the free iHeart App.

Two of Alaska’s most celebrated and inspiring chefs, we’re thrilled to welcome Kirsten and Mandy Dixon to The Connected Table LIVE! on Wednesday March 2, 2016, 2:25pmEST to talk about their Award-winning cookbook (winner: the IACP Cookbook Award), their Lodge-focused life in hospitality, and if we’re lucky, a quick tutorial on how to make Salmon Bacon (see recipe below.) Connect www.withinthewild.com Follow: [email protected]

Salmon Bacon with Rhubarb Lacquer Author: Kirsten Dixon

INGREDIENTS
6 ounces alaska cold-smoked salmon lox (about 10 slices)
1⁄2 pound rhubarb, washed, trimmed, and chopped
1⁄2 cup honey
1⁄2 cup apple cider
1⁄2 shallot, sliced
1 teaspoon freshly ground coarse black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat the foil with spray release or with oil. Lay down each of the pieces of salmon onto the baking sheet. Set aside.

Place the rhubarb, honey, apple cider, shallot, and about a teaspoon of black pepper into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the rhubarb is cooked and begins to fall apart. Add a little additional apple cider if more liquid is necessary.

Cook for about 30 minutes until the mixture has reduced down to a thick syrupy consistency.

Brush the salmon with the rhubarb lacquer. Place the baking sheet onto the center rack of the oven and bake for about 5 to 6 minutes or until the bacon is just crisp.
Makes about 10 slices of bacon.


Got comfort food? Chef Kirsten Dixon bakes Russian Alaska Salmon Pie.

All last winter and into the spring and summer, my daughter Mandy, my son-in-law Tyrone, and I worked together on a new cookbook project. When the weather was too harsh for Ty to work outside, and Mandy and I were caught up on our kitchen chores, we would sit at the small table in our wellness room near the woodstove at the lodge and spread out our notebooks and ideas.

This week, as a result of our work together, a new edition of The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook will arrive in bookstores. Although it is a second edition of an earlier book, this edition has entirely all-new photos, about 50 new recipes, and the heartfelt efforts of our small family-grown production team. Ty captured all the images, Mandy did all the food styling, and I wrote the text. Our dear friend, Sini Salminen, a graphic designer living in Denmark, designed the layout.

Although food is fashion and trends come and go, we also salvaged and included a few recipes from a cookbook now long out of print that I wrote in the 1980's. We just couldn't say goodbye to rhubarb chutney or sourdough bread pudding. Another was our recipe for Russian Salmon Pie.

We've been making a variation of this dish in our kitchen for thirty years now and it is still a favorite amongst guests and staff alike. The perhaps more common name for salmon pie is coulibiac, but many Alaskans know it as pirok or perok. It's a Russian dish comprised of mushrooms, rice and salmon encased in brioche or puff pastry. In our version, we use brown rice, cabbage, and a little bit of Cheddar cheese (perhaps a nod to the 1980's when I first began preparing this dish).

Coulibiac was popular in Russia when August Escoffier, the famed French food writer, hired a Russian cook in his small restaurant in Nice, France and began to prepare it for important guests. It is now often thought of as a French classic. It was one of Julia Child's favorites. It's a dish that can be dressed up or down. Some versions add sturgeon and other fish (Escoffier liked to add vesiga, or sturgeon spinal cord, as a thickener, something I haven't been up to trying). It can be served as one big pie, as in our photos, or in individual ramekins for an elegant first course or appetizer.

By the way, if you are interested in food writing, I am offering several instructional classes over the winter and spring in Anchorage and Homer. Perhaps you might consider a family project of bringing your favorite recipes together and sharing them with others. Contact me at kirsten(at)alaskadispatch.com for more information.

Russian Salmon Pie

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a wide sauté pan over low heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. The lower onion cooks, the less likely it is to burn. Onion develops a lovely sweet and tender flavor when it is cooked slowly over low heat. Add in the mushrooms and the cabbage. Turn the heat up to medium, adding a bit more butter if necessary. Sometimes I sprinkle in a bit of water into the pan to create a steam and help soften the cabbage. You could add in savory spices or herbs here also if you wish. My father loves caraway with cabbage, so sometimes I use that. I place a lid or a piece of aluminum foil over the cabbage-vegetable mixture so it steams nicely. Remove the vegetables and set aside.

Poach, bake, grill, or pan-sear the salmon. Each of these techniques offers a little variation in flavor and texture. If you prepare the salmon any way other than poaching, I usually like to rub it with a good quality olive oil and salt and pepper the fish. This prevents the fish from sticking to the pan surface and protects the flesh from drying out before cooking. The salmon can be a little undercooked because we will cook it additionally in our pie. Cool the salmon and flake it into large chunks.

Take a sheet of puff pastry and roll it out slightly onto a floured surface. Cover the second sheet with a cloth or plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out. I like to roll out puff pastry a little bit so it doesn't puff too much. If you buy commercial puff pastry, try to find a brand that uses butter rather than oil -- it has a much better "mouth feel." If butter is scarce, you can always make this dish with a regular favorite pie crust. I like to use a good sturdy rolling pin that has some weight and width to it. It doesn't really matter if you select a pin without handles (better for big wide pieces of dough) or ones with handles (like Julia Child's now in the Smithsonian museum), but purchase a good-quality rolling pin and it will last you a lifetime.

Place the puff pastry sheet into a 9- or 10-inch, deep-dish pie pan, leaving the extra dough draped over the edge of the pie pan. Sometimes I make these pies in small individual servings using small pastry rings instead of a pie pan. I prefer to use glass pie pans because I can always take a peek at how the pie is doing on the bottom. For crusted pies, glass and non-shiny aluminum pans are best for a crispy bottom crust.

Place a layer of brown rice onto the pastry in the pan. Next add the chopped hard-boiled egg. Add a layer of flaked salmon, then some shredded cheese. Next add the breadcrumbs. Layer the onion, mushrooms, and cabbage into the pie pan (you can mix them all together if you want, but the layers look nice when you slice the pie). Sprinkle the pie with salt and pepper as you see fit along the way. Pour the cream over the pie ingredients. The sequence of these events doesn't matter as much as your own personal taste. Some people feel very strongly about where the hard-boiled eggs are placed!

Roll out the remaining sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Brush the rim of the pie with a little water. Place the second sheet of pastry on top of the pie. Trim off the excess dough and crimp the edges of the pie together to adhere the two sheets of dough. Some people do this with a fork or between two fingers to make a decorative edge. Use leftover dough to cut out shapes if you wish. Make sure to slit the pie top with a few knife slashes so that steam can escape. Brush the pastry with beaten egg – or, if eggs are precious, just use a little cold water. Bake the salmon pie on the top rack of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is a golden brown.


Chef Tim Crockett

Tim is our Anchorage-based research and development chef on our culinary team.

He focuses on recipe testing, searching out farmers and purveyors, assisting chefs with finding Alaska artisan products, and he sends supplies out to the lodges. Tim has worked as executive chef at Tutka Bay Lodge in the past and he is instrumental on our upcoming cookbook project, “Living Within The Wild” due out in the spring of 2021. Tim is an athlete who mountain bikes the hills and trails around Anchorage and he makes frequent visits to the lodges.


Mandy Dixon

Mother-and-daughter chefs Kirsten and Mandy Dixon cater to a crowd that loves a little something wild. Wild as in the Alaskan countryside, where the Dixon family’s seaside Tutka Bay Lodge (about 200 miles from Anchorage) and secluded backcountry Winterlake Lodge (at Rainy Pass, along the Iditarod Trail) serve up outdoor adventure along with meals highlighting local Alaskan produce. Salmon, halibut, rockfish, Dungeness crab, and Kachemak Bay oysters, as well as berries, honey, and mushrooms are inspirations for the Dixons’ menus, as well as for their two cookbooks, the Winterlake Lodge Cookbook and the Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook (the latter a winner of a 2015 award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals).

Daughter Amanda “Mandy” Dixon, following in her mom’s footsteps, studied at Le Cordon Bleu, carried on at the Culinary Institute of America’s St. Helena, California, campus, and did a stage at chef Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc.

While Kirsten is mostly at the stove at Tutka Bay and Mandy runs the Winterlake kitchen, they both take part in the lodges’ cooking school, launched in 2010 and based on a repurposed crabbing boat moored in a lagoon outside the Tutka Bay Lodge. They also host informal pre-dinner culinary sessions in the respective kitchens.


Blueberry Pie

From "Notes from a Maine Kitchen" by Kathy Gunst (Down East Books)

Kathy’s Note: Plan on letting the crust chill for at least an hour before rolling it out. And once the pie is made it should chill for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Ingredients for the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
About 3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water

Ingredients for the fruit filling:
4 cups wild or cultivated blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a combination of all three
1 ripe peach or nectarine, peeled, pitted and cut into thin slices
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar or Vanilla Sugar*
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten, optional

*To make Vanilla Sugar: cut a vanilla bean down the center lengthwise. Place it in a sugar pot and let it “flavor” the sugar for 24 hours and up to several months. Vanilla sugar is delicious in all kinds of baked goods where vanilla extract would be used.

Instructions:
To prepare the crust: Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter or your hands, break the butter up into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Mix in the 3 tablespoon of the water, adding more if needed, until the dough begins to come together and there is no excess flour in the bottom of the bowl. Add another tablespoon or two of water if needed. Divide the dough in half and mound them each into a round, flat disc, and wrap each in a large piece of plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour, or up to 48 hours.

To prepare the filling: In a bowl gently mix the blueberries, peach slices, sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla until all the berries are well coated. The berries can macerate in the sugar for several hours, covered and refrigerated.

Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour. Remove one of the chilled dough circles and roll it out to a circle about 11 inches across. Place the circle into a 9-inch pie plate, allowing the edges to fall over the sides of the pie plate. Place the cooled blueberry mixture inside the dough. Roll out the other piece of dough to a circle about 11 inches across. Using a pizza cutter or a small, sharp knife, cut strips about ½-inch thick out of the dough. Place the strips on top of the fruit filling, creating a crisscross lattice pattern. Trim off any excess crust and crimp the edges of the dough together, creating a decorative pattern. Place the pie in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to several hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the pie on a cookie sheet and brush the pastry with the beaten egg, if desired. (It will make the crust shiny and golden.) Bake for 40 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 and bake another 10 to 2 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. If the pie begins to brown too fast, cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. Let the pie cool slightly before cutting.


The Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook: Coastal Cuisine from the Wilds of Alaska

Another beautifully photographed and carefully collected set of recipes from Alaska&aposs own Kirsten Dixon. Highlighting the natural beauty and wild-foraged foods of Kachemak Bay, Dixon shares her love of locally sourced wild foods with her extensive knowledge of culinary techniques.

Beautiful enough to gift as a coffee table book, accompanied by a lovely fillet of salmon or halibut, this vibrant cookbook captures the exquisite simplicity of Alaskan cuisine.

Love the book? Then the next step is to Another beautifully photographed and carefully collected set of recipes from Alaska's own Kirsten Dixon. Highlighting the natural beauty and wild-foraged foods of Kachemak Bay, Dixon shares her love of locally sourced wild foods with her extensive knowledge of culinary techniques.

Beautiful enough to gift as a coffee table book, accompanied by a lovely fillet of salmon or halibut, this vibrant cookbook captures the exquisite simplicity of Alaskan cuisine.

Love the book? Then the next step is to join the author at her culinary retreat & cooking school each summer season, just across the bay form the artist's community of Homer, Alaska. Five stars! . more


Recipe: 'Alaskan' French macaroons

It's a funny thing, but in all the years I have been cooking, I have never prepared Parisian-style macaroons (or macarons as they are correctly spelled in France). I have eaten my fair share and I have purchased premium macarons in fancy shops in Paris, wrapped in silky bright tissue. I have been given macaroons as end-of-meal gifts at fancy restaurants, tied up in ribbon and cellophane. But, even despite the macaroon craze that seemed to sweep the States over the past 10 years, I've just never gotten to it.

Well, it's a holiday weekend and I've decided to give it a try. I am still camped out on the Homer Spit working on our new store building, but I want to serve a festive meal to our small work crew living here with me. We barbecue on our little second-floor deck that overlooks Ramp One and "the rail" where boats pull up at low tide for maintenance and repairs. Boats seem to pull in at all hours to offload fish and refuel.

I ask Mandy, our pastry chef, to teach me how to make a macaroon. Here's what I learn:

I also learn that macaroon lovers are nearly fanatical in their devotion to this little cookie. The pied (foot) should be ruffled. Who talks about a cookie like that? The bottom of a macaroon is called a "belly." These little sweets are beginning to sound like pink and pistachio oysters.

In a survey of a few of my favorite French cookbooks, I notice a trend with macaroon recipes. None of them are the same. Some recipes call to grind almonds with flour, others insist on two-day old eggs (this is to concentrate the liquid a bit -- and older egg whites whip better). Some swear by letting the batter stand several hours before going in to the oven. Others insist this will cause cracking.

Part of the customization a macaroon can take on is either in variation in the batter or in the filling. Famous pastry shops in Paris, Ladurée and Pierre Hermé to name two of the most famous, list exotic flavors such as Rose Petal with Lychee Paste and Blackcurrant Violet.

At the end of it, the development of a macaroon recipe is a highly personal process. Here is a good basic one to get you started.

French macaroons

1 cup confectioners' sugar

2 large egg whites, room temperature (older rather than fresh if possible)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cup berry jam, for filling

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pulse the almond flour and the confectioners' sugar together in the bowl of a food processor until they are well combined. Sift the mixture to make sure there are no lumps remaining.

Whip the egg whites with a mixer on medium speed until they are foamy. Add in the cream of tartar (This helps to keep the whites from re-liquefying. You can use vinegar or lemon juice just as well) and continue to whip until soft peaks form. Reduce the speed to low, and then add in the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to high, and whip until stiff peaks form, about 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle the flour mixture over whites, and fold the mixture gently until the batter is smooth and shiny. You can add different food colorings and different flavorings to the batter at this point. I added a bit of pistachio paste to one batch and vanilla bean to another.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip or into a sealable quart-sized plastic bag with one end snipped. Pipe 1-inch rounds an inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. (In my lesson, Mandy had me draw circles onto the parchment paper so each macaroon would be the same size. She taught me to pipe the batter in a circle from the outside to the inside and smooth over the top of the batter so there was no tail sticking up like a "kiss"). Lightly tap the bottom of each sheet onto the work surface to release any trapped air. If you have very thin baking sheets, use two sheets, one on top of the other, to insulate the heat a bit. Let the uncooked macaroons stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before placing them into the oven.

Bake until the macaroons are crisp and firm, about 8-10 minutes. When removing the macaroons, place the baking sheet at a slight angle onto the work surface. Spray or drizzle a bit of water underneath the parchment. The steam created helps to release the macaroons from sticking to the parchment. It isn't critical to do this, but you don't want to damage any of those little "bellies."

Match up macaroons to be the same size. It happens that some spread a bit. Fill them with any desired filling. Mandy and I used a berry jam and some chocolate ganache (basically chocolate and cream melted together).

My macaroons began to disappear almost immediately, but I hear they are better after a day or two.


In the kitchen with.

For Mandy Dixon, co-owner and manager of La Baleine Café operating seasonally on the Homer Spit and a year-round instructor at the Cooking School at Tutka Bay Lodge across Kachemak Bay, the end game of preparing a meal isn’t just a matter of eating. It is about creating an educational experience that goes beyond merely pleasing the taste buds.

She strives for the meal itself – its ingredients and preparation – to tell a story: specifically an Alaskan story. Nowhere does she achieve this goal as regularly as at the rustic-looking café near the end of the road at the halibut fishing capital of the world.

“It is so fun to tell a story with our food served in this small café,” Mandy says. “Ninety percent of what is served in the café is coming from local farmers right here in Homer and the seafood comes from our own fisherman.”

Featuring Alaskan-grown products is a cherished part of Mandy’s food preparation and restaurant management style. “I am very proud of the organic and clean food that we have here in Alaska,” she says. “Communicating that to our guests is really important.”

For instance, there’s the café’s ramen bowl featuring homemade noodles garnished with a locally produced duck egg and topped off with pea shoots from a local farmer. And there’s the edible flowers grown in the area gardens, and the dried sea lettuce with its mushroomy-earthen flavor collected from Tutka Bay. Together, these elements represent more than a diversely sourced meal they represent the people that produced it and the stories of how their lives intersect with cooking and commerce, Mandy says. “Our guests get to learn about the people who live here and how they make their livelihood,” she says.

Hers is a passion she came by naturally. Her mother is Kirsten Dixon – the unofficial queen of Alaska’s kitchen whose scrumptious backwoods lodge cooking headlining the family’s two wilderness lodges continually makes national headlines and garners culinary awards. Mandy grew up in the lodge kitchens watching the world’s top cooks prepare meals for the guests and teach students from across the globe the secrets of creating an appetizing and visually appealing meal. Despite her upbringing, Mandy says she didn’t feel too much pressure to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
Well, maybe a little bit. But she is glad she did.

The mother/daughter duo have co-written cookbooks – most recently in 2013 when Kirsten was undergoing chemotherapy and had little ability to actually taste the food. Yet, it became for Mandy her most memorable cooking experience in that the project gave her mother something else to focus on besides her health struggle.

Mandy is unashamedly bullish on Alaska food: She creates a new menu each summer for the café. This year she featured cold-smoked salmon bacon brushed with a “rhubarb lacquer” featuring local honey and shallots for the eggs benedict. “It is a great alternative to pork,” she says.

Her favorite Alaskan dessert is much simpler: wild-picked berries and local honeycomb. “That is just delicious all on its own,” she says.

Fall desserts at the café feature lots of Alaska carrots and pumpkins. “The soil and the sunlight here in Alaska make carrots and pumpkins taste so sweet,” she says before describing a spiced carrot cake with roasted white chocolate frosting soon to be on the menu.

Mandy’s baking also includes a nod to her childhood favorite: campfire s’mores. Her grown-up version features homemade raspberry marshmallows tucked between homemade graham crackers slathered with chocolate ganache. It represents who she is at the core: An Alaska girl trained in fine dining who has found a way to combine the best of both worlds between the “comfort food” at the café and the upscale meals served at the lodge.

“While I do have these two different cuisine styles going on in my life, it is very exciting and it keeps things interesting,” Mandy says. “We put a lot of effort and care into every dish because it represents where we call home.”


The Alaska Homegrown Cookbook: The Best Recipes from the Last Frontier

For forty years Alaska Northwest Books has been the premier publisher of Alaskan cookbooks. From camp cooking to wild game to preserving berries to sourdough to seafood recipes from the state's finest restaurants, AKNW cookbooks have covered the gamut of all foods Alaska. Now, the Alaska Homegrown Cookbook culls the best recipes from dozens of cookbooks published over the past forty years. It includes appetizers, salads and soups, native fruits and vegetables, baking and desserts, beef, poultry and of course, seafood. A . Read More

For forty years Alaska Northwest Books has been the premier publisher of Alaskan cookbooks. From camp cooking to wild game to preserving berries to sourdough to seafood recipes from the state's finest restaurants, AKNW cookbooks have covered the gamut of all foods Alaska. Now, the Alaska Homegrown Cookbook culls the best recipes from dozens of cookbooks published over the past forty years. It includes appetizers, salads and soups, native fruits and vegetables, baking and desserts, beef, poultry and of course, seafood. A must have for Native Alaskans and visitors alike. Read Less


Watch the video: in alaska (December 2021).