When one thinks of Alaskan food, the first thing to come to mind is seafood. We locals like to boast that Alaska offers THE best seafood. Not only is it fresh from the cold Pacific waters, it’s also wild. Alaska does not have fish farms. In fact, it’s in the state constitution fish farming is not allowed.
But what if fish isn’t your thing? On occasion we will host a guest or two who is leery of seafood.
Guests of Juneau Food Tours are delighted to find a “little sumpin’”from Juneau’s Chef Stef in their gift bags. Chef Stef is a local baking and candy-making celebrity. A long-time Juneau local hailing from Flushing, New York, she combines her passions for food and art into treats that are as beautiful as they are tasty.
Chef Stef’s street cred is formidable.
V’s Cellar Door offers a unique dining experience for Juneau visitors and locals. V’s is owned and operated by Venietia Santana, who hails from the East Coast originally. She has lived in Juneau more than 20 years, which in our book makes her a local. We in town know her as “V” and we absolutely adore her food.
V is first generation American. Her father is Sicilian and her mother is Irish.
Although there are no roads in or out of Juneau, the city boasts a vibrant food truck industry. Between tacos, pizza, bar-be-cue, and even kelp salsa, hungry visitors and locals are assuredly able to find something to sate their appetites.
Juneau Food Tours is proud to include the very popular food truck, Deckhand Dave’s, as a tasting location on both culinary tours, A Tour with Taste and Juneau Bites & Booze.
Ahhh…summer. Daylight seems to go on forever and on those rare, sunny days in Southeast Alaska time seems to stand still. As I write this column, we are experiencing such a phenomena. Even I, who can almost always be found in a sweater, with my feet covered in wooly socks, am sporting a sun dress and open-toed shoes. It’s truly a perfect day.
One of the most wonderful aspects of dining in a particular town is knowing that the chefs are local. The fact that they have ties to the community makes them more real, authentic, and even endearing. Chef Lionel Uddipa is one of these chefs. He moved to Juneau from the Philippines when he was two years old and has made a career out of creating culinary delights.
Jacob smiles as guests enjoy the fare at Panhandle Provisions.
We like to think of Panhandle Provisions as the “Jewel of Juneau”. The unique flavors and creativity that come from the kitchen of this little hole in the wall deli are unlike anything one can imagine. Kimchi salami, reindeer prosciutto, and Alaskan pork salami are just a few things on the delicious menu.
The Juneau Food Tours experience combines food with the colorful history of Juneau, Alaska’s capital city. Our visit to the Alaskan Hotel & Bar definitely meets these qualities. The history of the hotel and bar is rich and quite colorful. Some may recognize it from a 2014 episode of Hotel Impossible.
Juneau was founded on the mining industry.
One thing visitors may notice when coming to Juneau is a particular brown rubber boot that many Southeast Alaskans wear on a daily basis. The boots are called Xtratufs® and they are about as common in this part of the world as a salmon swimming upstream. Jason Puckett, owner of JCP Confections, is a local fellow who has taken this iconic symbol to a whole new level.
It wouldn’t be a culinary tour without a hearty sampling of smoked salmon dip, the signature food for Southeast Alaskans. Nearly everyone who lives in Juneau and the surrounding communities has a recipe for this seafood dip. It usually involves a good amount of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and a few other delicious ingredients.