Juneau has a way of bringing people together. I have never lived anywhere where community truly meant so much. Whether it’s the 4th of July parade, the Maritime Festival, or even the most recent hot dog event with the Juneau Police Department, we enjoy coming together as a family related through the common bond of Alaska and the uniqueness of Alaskans.
In the spirit of this sense of community, another great event is happening this weekend in Juneau. The first annual Southeast Feast. This event was the brainchild of Chef Beau Schooler, known for the unique and delicious cuisine of The Rookery Café, Panhandle Provisions, Taqueria, and In Bocca al Lupo. Chef Beau is a creative entity in the kitchen and it shows through the many inventive dishes he concocts. Items such as salmon chorizo, chili glazed salmon collars, and the house made pastas are but a few. Chef Beau goes the extra mile to be different in manner, attitude, and especially cooking. So, it was no surprise when he told me of his idea of bringing together some of his fellow chefs to showcase Alaska’s seafood.
Last year the event was a course meal entitled Sustainable Seafood. Three chefs, David Varley of Seattle, Ryan Lachaine of Houston, and Richie Nakano of California, as well as Chef Beau, prepared an eight course meal that tantalized the pallet, as well as utilized the best of Alaskan waters. The vision was a reality and is now growing exponentially.
This year the event, Southeast Feast, has even more food and highlights more chefs. Juneau will welcome chefs Trevor Knuk of Napa Valley, Scott Vivian of Toronto, Michael Gulotta of New Orleans, Tim Archuleta of San Francisco, and Tanya Kelly also from Toronto. The event has grown to a four hour extravaganza at which attendees can enjoy the talents of these amazing chefs. My taste buds are atwitter with the anticipation. Go here to learn more about the chefs.
Although the event hosts extraordinary chefs and will have extraordinary food, there is also the rest of the story. The event is charged with bringing to minds the importance of Alaska’s wild, sustainable seafood and keeping it that way. Southeast Feast also promotes and supports Salmon Beyond Borders, an organization whose mission is to keep the waters safe from tailings and chemicals most often found through mining processes. While the event is in no way anti-mining, it is in every way pro-fishing, pro-sustainability, and pro clean water.
Salmon Beyond Borders is a campaign driven by sport and commercial fishermen, community leaders, tourism, and recreation business owners as well as concerned citizens, in collaboration with Tribes and First Nations who are united across the Alaska/British Columbia border to defend and sustain our transboundary rivers, jobs, and way of life.
As attendees come together to enjoy the bounty that the chefs will prepare, it is my hope that we will look beyond our plates to where the seafood came from, and how important it is that we keep Alaska’s waters clean and healthy. It’s all about community.
Southeast Feast is Saturday, July 23, 12:00 – 4:00pm at the JACC. Tickets can be purchased online.
I hope to see many of you there. I’ll be the one behaving like I’m at Disneyland and taking a plethora of food photos!
Note: Thank you to Salmon Beyond Borders and Travis Rummel for the beautiful photos.