Out-of-this-world ingredients (consider the King crab and the salmon from the Copper River) combined with creative chefs makes for adventurous and sophisticated eating. This much-lauded cookbook profiles a dozen Alaska chefs who are developing and perfecting the tastes and flavors of the Last Frontier. Whether they are located in downtown hotel restaurants or remote lodges or far-flung towns, these chefs are finding wonderful local ingredients and either inventing new dishes or re-interpreting classics. The ...
Out-of-this-world ingredients (consider the King crab and the salmon from the Copper River) combined with creative chefs makes for adventurous and sophisticated eating. This much-lauded cookbook profiles a dozen Alaska chefs who are developing and perfecting the tastes and flavors of the Last Frontier. Whether they are located in downtown hotel restaurants or remote lodges or far-flung towns, these chefs are finding wonderful local ingredients and either inventing new dishes or re-interpreting classics. The traditional Alaskan Seafood Chowder is a hearty and malleable recipe that takes advantage of the fact that Alaskan kitchens usually have a good supply on hand of various kinds of fin- and shellfish. Naturally, the book offers up a good half-dozen other fish recipes as well. The Wild Mushroom Tart reflects the bounty of the many forests—and fortunately excellent foraged mushrooms are showing up at farmers markets in the lower-48. Alaska is famous for its long summer days that produce bumper crops and outsized vegetables. Cream of Alaskan Summer Squash and Fresh Sweet Basil Soup is a terrific solution to too many zucchinis (an issue for many home farmers). Roast Cornish Hen with King Prawn is a perfect and unexpected marriage of fish and fowl—a combination that perhaps could only have been invented in Alaska. With over 120 recipes, this second edition of The New Alaska Cookbook reveals that the culinary world up north has continued to evolve in many new and delicious directions
Severson, former restaurant critic for the Anchorage Daily News, says she got a lot of comments about whale blubber when she mentioned her latest project. But she and Denkler, a "hotshot chef" turned culinary instructor, have put together a collection of sophisticated recipes from a dozen of Alaska's top chefs, without a hint of blubber. Not surprisingly, seafood, from king crab to Copper River wild salmon to Kodiak diver scallops, does feature prominently. A number of books have showcased Hawaii's talented cooks, and now here's a look at the food of our other noncontiguous state. For regional libraries and larger collections of chefs' and seafood cookbooks. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kim Severson has written about food for The New York Times, Anchorage Daily News, and the San Francisco Chronicle. The recipient of a James Beard award, she lives in Brooklyn, NY. Glenn Denkler is the executive chef of Josephine’s in the Sheraton Anchora
Jens Hansen might well be called the father of new Alaska cooking. At one time or another, many of Alaska’s best chefs have spent time in his kitchen or as members of the Alaska chefs’ association he helped start. Hansen is a wild Dane with a deep passion for food and wine and something of a rogue’s reputation in a state full of them.
Seeking adventure, Hansen came to Alaska in 1968 after formal training in Copenhagen and Paris. He got his feet wet in a hotel kitchen and then headed to the North Slope to cook for the people building the Alaska pipeline. But Hansen really hit his stride when he ran the Crow’s Nest atop the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage during the wild, free-spending oil boom days in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During those years, Hansen and a handful of other classically trained Europeans like Hans Kruger had a profound impact on Alaska’s professional kitchens. They demanded better produce from their purveyors and taught many old sourdoughs the delights of classic sauces and good wine. “When I came here there were only potatoes and cabbages. Really. There was not fresh meat. Nothing,” he says. “Everybody thought I was nuts for my little tantrums over the lack of fresh vegetables or the quality of meat.” In 1988, he opened his namesake restaurant, Jens’ Restaurant and Bodega, in a strip mall in the middle of Anchorage. Pepper steaks, perfect plates of sautéed fish, and traditional Danish dishes give way later in the evening to glasses of wine and singing in the bar. Every winter, he takes off for a month, flying to exotic locales like South Africa, New Zealand, and Belize. “You’ve got to travel, man,” he says. “Otherwise it would be the same eight guys all copying each other.”