Local food from Sitka is featured prominently in the new Fresh49.com webisode series about using traditional foods created by Alaska chef Robert Kinneen of Anchorage and Dr. Gary Ferguson, ND, the director of the Wellness and Prevention program at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC).
The first webisodes in the series are about the Store Outside Your Door, and they feature traditional foods Kinneen gathered around Sitka with Steve Johnson, a Tlingít elder-in-training from Sitka. Some of the webisodes featuring Sitka include a foraged salad, Alaskan fresh rolls, venison skewers and rockfish fumet. There is a Store Outside Your Door page on Facebook, as well as a channel on YouTubewhere people can find the webisodes.
Even though he currently lives and works in Anchorage, Kinneen is no stranger to Southeast Alaska. He is Tlingít and was born in Petersburg. Kinneen is a graduate of the Culinary School of America and has been a chef at several of Anchorage’s top restaurants over the years. He also has been a guest chef at the first two Sitka Seafood Festivals.
Dr. Ferguson, who is Aleut originally from Sand Point, is a Doctor of Naturopathy who earned his degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. He has a special interest in diabetes treatment and prevention, which is one of the reasons Dr. Ferguson and Kinneen got together to do the series. Research has shown that traditional diets can play a big role in diabetes prevention.
In the first webisodes, they also worked with health educator Renae Mathson of Sitka (Tlingít), who works with the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Diabetes and Health Promotion programs, and registered dietitian Desirée Simeon (Tlingít/Haida), who works with ANTHC. They currently are filming webisodes from other parts of Alaska, featuring traditional foods from those areas.