• Sitka Seafood Festival offers culinary scholarship and paid internship opportunity

culinary scholarship description

Scholarship 2015Are you a budding chef from Sitka who’d like an opportunity to work with some top-notch chefs from around the country? The Sitka Seafood Festival is offering its culinary scholarship and paid internship again for 2015. The application deadline is Monday, June 22.

This $500 scholarship will be awarded to an individual interested in pursuing the culinary arts. The program includes the opportunity to work with renowned chefs for 3-5 days, a $500 stipend for three days of work, letters of recommendation from Sitka Seafood Festival staff for future career moves, and recognition to the community during the Sitka Seafood Festival community banquet on Friday, Aug. 7. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community of Sitka.

This year’s guest chefs haven’t been announced yet. But last year the executive guest chef was Caleb France, with returning guest chefs Seth Caswell from Seattle, Mickey Neely from Chicago, Robert Kinneen from Anchorage, and Jeren Schmidt from Sitka.

This year’s Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 6-9, with a variety of activities around Sitka. This year’s event schedule hasn’t been announced yet, but typically there is a community banquet featuring a variety of local seafood on Friday night, while Saturday’s activities include fish-tote races at Crescent Harbor, a parade down Lincoln Street, Scottish Highland Games at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, live music, cooking demonstrations, and a variety of food, informational and artist booths in the marketplace at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

For more information, go to the Sitka Seafood Festival website, or contact the festival at sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com. You also can contact Alicia Haseltine at (928) 607-4845.

• Click here for a detailed description of the SSF Scholarship program.

• Click here for an application to the SSF Scholarship program.

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• Sitka Seafood Festival offers culinary scholarship and paid internship opportunity

culinary scholarship description

The application deadline for the Sitka Seafood Festival culinary scholarship and paid internship is Friday, June 20.

This $500 scholarship will be awarded to an individual interested in pursuing the culinary arts. The program includes the opportunity to work with renowned chefs for 3-5 days, a $500 stipend for three days of work, letters of recommendation from Sitka Seafood Festival staff for future career moves, and recognition to the community during the Sitka Seafood Festival community banquet on Aug. 1 at Harrigan Centennial Hall. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community of Sitka.

Caleb France BioThis year’s executive guest chef is Caleb France, with returning guest chefs Seth Caswell from Seattle, Mickey Neely from Chicago, Robert Kinneen from Anchorage, and Jeren Schmidt from Sitka.

This year’s Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Friday-Saturday, Aug. 1-2, with a variety of activities around Sitka. In addition to the community banquet featuring local seafood on Friday night, Saturday’s activities include fish-tote races at Crescent Harbor, a parade down Lincoln Street, Scottish Highland Games at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, live music, cooking demonstrations, and a variety of food, informational and artist booths in the marketplace at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

For more information, go to the Sitka Seafood Festival website, or contact the festival at sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com. You also can contact Alicia Haseltine at (928) 607-4845.

• Click here for a detailed description of the SSF Scholarship program.

• Click here for an application to the SSF Scholarship program.

• Fourth annual Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Aug. 1-4

SSF Event Calendar

ChefLouisaChuDo you love Sitka’s wild Alaska seafood? Help celebrate our salmon, halibut, rockfish, crab and other seafood species during the fourth annual Sitka Seafood Festival on Aug. 1-4 at various locations around Sitka.

The Sitka Seafood Festival (SSF) was formed in 2010 by a small group of volunteers as a culinary-based festival established to celebrate our local seafood and one of Sitkaʼs greatest resources. The festival has grown very quickly and we have had some national attention, including from the popular culinary magazines “Relish” and “The Lucky Peach,” as well as drawing the interest of multiple well -known chefs. We feel the festival only has room to grow from here, and is a tool to start attracting the independent traveler to boost Sitka’s tourism, as well as a way to educate others about our industry. For a quick taste of the festival, check out the 2012 promotional video.

In the past three years the festival has grown from a small, two-day festival for the locals, into a multiple-day celebration not just for our community but also for travelers visiting Sitka from Juneau to Florida. The festival opens on Thursday with films showcasing Alaska’s salmon, the well-received “Poet Sea” poetry contest, a sunset pasta cruise aboard an Allen Marine vessel, as well as endless educational and entertainment activities for all ages, and of course, some amazing food.

FishHeadBobbingCatchOne of our most popular events is a five-course seafood extravaganza on Friday night at Harrigan Centennial Hal, which sells out each year. It is a formal dinner striving to use all local seafood and products. This event is prepared by many local chefs, as well as our three guest chefs,  including returning chefs Robert Kinneen and Seth Caswell, and introducing our executive chef Mickey Neely who was recently voted “Best New Up and Coming Chef of Chicago.” The evening is complete with a silent auction, live music, entertainment, and, of course, the best food around. Other Friday events include hatchery tours and a book signing.

The following day is an all-day festival, starting at 7 a.m. with the addition of our Cross Trail Classic half- and full-marathons, which will finish at the festival grounds. Starting at 11 a.m. at Totem Square, come enjoy the festival parade down Lincoln Street, leading right to the Sheldon Jackson Campus and the Sitka Seafood Festival’s Marketplace. It is full of local food booths, arts and crafts, educational and informational booths, as well as many contests such as the favorite “fish-head bobbing” and “fish-head toss,” kids games, and many Alaska  dance groups and educational-based demos.

MusicRobertJacobsJBradleyHollyKeenThere also will be a free presentation by author, chef, and professor Becky Selengut of Seattle, titled “Good Fish: One Chef’s Quest to Preserve Our Ocean Resources.” The presentation will take place at noon in Sweetland Hall, on the Sheldon Jackson Campus. Starting at 12:30 p.m., the second annual Highland/Island Games will also be taking place. Come watch the best of the best from Alaska toss a log or two. There also will be a beer garden, multiple food vendors, and of course the main stage with dance performances, and live music throughout the night. This is one event you won’t want to miss. And new this year is a Sunday golf tournament at Sea Mountain Golf Course.

The Sitka Seafood Festival hopefully will continue to grow. Please mark your calendars for the fourth annual event scheduled for Aug. 1-4. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! If you would like to get involved or have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Alicia Olson Haseltine at (928) 607-4845 or sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com, or check us out at http://www.sitkaseafoodfestival.org. And thank you Sitka.. You are what makes this festival, and so many other amazing events in our wonderful community.

• 2013 Sitka Seafood Festival events calendar

• Sitka Seafood Festival banquet poster

• 2013 Sitka Seafood Festival marketplace food vendor information

• 2013 Sitka Seafood Festival Highland Island Games info

• Sitka Conservation Society, other groups to host Sitka Food Film Festival on Feb. 22-24

Food Film FestFood Fest 2The Sitka Conservation Society and several other partners will host the Sitka Food Film Festival on Friday through Sunday, Feb. 22-24, at Harrigan Centennial Hall and the Larkspur Cafe. The films are free, but donations will be accepted to help cover costs.

In addition to the dozen films, the festival will feature an appearance by Tlingít chef Robert Kinneen about the Store Outside Your Door (a project with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) promoting healthy traditional foods). There also will be a roundtable discussion about Sitka’s food resiliency (food security).

The festival opens with a feature film TBA at 8:30 p.m. on Friday night at the Larkspur Cafe.

On Saturday at Harrigan Centennial Hall, the schedule includes Ratatouille (a family friendly movie) at 10 a.m., Ingredients at 12:30 p.m., End of the Line at 2:30 p.m., Two Angry Moms at 3:45 p.m., followed by a roundtable discussion about Sitka’s food resiliency from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday’s schedule concludes with another feature film TBA at 8:30 p.m. at the Larkspur Cafe.

Sunday’s schedule at Harrigan Centennial Hall opens with A Feast At Midnight (a family friendly movie) at 10 a.m., Food Fight at 12:30 p.m., Bitter Seeds at 2:30 p.m., and Food Stamped at 4 p.m. Robert Kinneen is the keynote speaker at 6 p.m., discussing the Store Outside Your Door and showing film shorts from the project. The festival concludes at 7 p.m. with The Economics of Happiness.

Besides the Sitka Conservation Society, the film festival is sponsored by the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, SEARHC, Sitka Food Co-op, ArtChange Inc., Sitka Film Society, Alaska Pure Sea Salt Co., and the Larkspur Cafe. On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Tracy Gagnon with the Sitka Conservation Society and Andrianna Natsoulas with the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust were interviewed on KCAW-Raven Radio’s Morning Edition program about the film festival, and you can click here to listen to the interview.

• Alaska chef Robert Kinneen creates webinar series about cooking with traditional foods

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).

Guest chef Robert Kinneen of Anchorage demonstrates a dish using scallops during the first Sitka Seafood Festival in 2010.

Guest chef Robert Kinneen of Anchorage demonstrates a dish using scallops during the first Sitka Seafood Festival in 2010.

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.

• Second Annual Sitka Seafood Festival celebrates our local bounty from the sea

The second annual Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, at Harrigan Centennial Hall and Crescent Harbor.

The festival opens at 6 p.m. on Friday with the opening banquet dinner at Harrigan Centennial Hall. This event features a formal  atmosphere  with  various  local  chefs  collaborating,  each showcasing  a  separate  course. It also  introduces  our  guest  chefs —  Louisa  Chu,  chef  and writer  from  Chicago,  and  our  returning  guest  chef  Robert Kinneen  from  Anchorage.  There will be a live  music  performance  by  Ray  Troll  and  the  Rat  Fish  Wranglers  during  dinner,  as  well as  a  silent  auction  and  other entertainment. Tickets  are available  at  Old  Harbor  Books  for  $50.

The fun continues on Saturday, with a full schedule of events at Harrigan Centennial  Hall,  Crescent  Harbor  Shelter  and  back  parking  area. Events include:

  • 11 AM: Maritime-themed  parade
  • Vendor  booths  including  food,  educational  and  entertainment  booths,  kids  games  and prizes,  knot  tying  classes,  beer  garden,  live  music  by  many  local  bands,  or  anyone interested  in  showcasing  seafood/maritime-related  items  (for more  info,  contact Christi Wuerker at 738-9047)
  • Kids  and  adult  art  workshop  with  Ray  Troll  (limited  number of openings,  to  sign  up,  call  Alicia Olson at 928-607-4845)
  • GingerLee, Aerial  silk  dancer  performances by Jenn Perry
  • USCG  Aids  to  Navigation  Team  vessel  tours
  • Local  New Archangel Russian  dance  and  Naa  Kahídi  Tlingít dance  performances
  • US Coast  Guard  helicopter  rescue  demonstration
  • Cooking  demonstration  by  guest  chef  Louisa  Chu
  • Fish-filleting  demos  on  the  hour,  every  hour  starting  at  noon,  as  well  as  rockfish  identifying contests
  • Fish-head-tossing  contest,  tote  races,  crab  races  and  fish-head-bobbing  contests
  • 5-6PM:  Fish  Poetry  at  Kettleson  Memorial Library (More  info:  Jeff  Budd at  the  Greater  Sitka  Arts  Council)
  • 8-11PM:  Live  music  and  dance  with  Ray  Troll  and  the  Ratfish  Wranglers  opening  and  the headliner  band  Wicked  Tinkers  (Tickets  $20  at  Old  Harbor  Books:  more  info  available through  Sitka  Folk)

To learn more, go to  http://www.sitkaseafoodfestival.org/,  or  contact  Alicia  Olson at  928- 607-4845 or by e-mail  at sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com.

• Sitka Seafood Festival adds cruise to Medvejie Hatchery for a tour and salmon bake to its list of events

On Saturday, Aug. 7, the Sitka Conservation Society is offering a Tongass summer boat cruise as part of the Sitka Seafood Festival. This boat trip will be traveling to Medvejie Hatchery for a tour of the hatchery and a salmon bake provided by the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA). The trip will depart at 11 a.m. and return at 2 p.m. Boarding begins at 10:45 a.m. at Crescent Harbor.

Tickets are $45 and can be purchased with cash or check at Old Harbor Books or at the Crescent Harbor loading dock at the time of the cruise. It is suggested that tickets be purchased in advance to assure participation. Food is not provided on the short boat ride to the hatchery, but hot beverages are complimentary. Binoculars are available on board for all.

King salmon fillets and baked potatoes cook over an open fire at an open house and salmon bake hosted by Medvejie Hatchery on July 10, 2010.

King salmon fillets and baked potatoes cook over an open fire at an open house and salmon bake hosted by Medvejie Hatchery on July 10, 2010.

This boat cruise is part of the Sitka Seafood Festival, a celebration of seafood as a wild and sustainable resource. This trip will head to Silver Bay and the Medvejie Hatchery to learn more about the multitude of seafood available in Sitka and the role different species play in our local ecosystems. Steve Reifenstuhl, General Manager of NSRAA (the non-profit that runs the hatchery), will be on board as a guest speaker. He will speak about Alaska and Southeast fisheries and the role of aquaculture in these fisheries. For more information on the Sitka Seafood Festival visit: http://sitkaseafoodfestival.org/

Allen Marine offers these boat trips at a reduced rate for non-profits. Please call 747-7509 or e-mail natalie@sitkawild.org for more information on this boat trip or others offered by the Sitka Conservation Society.

The inaugural Sitka Seafood Festival takes place on Aug. 6-7 at the Crescent Harbor shelter, Harrigan Centennial Hall and other parts of Sitka. A tentative schedule of events is posted below. Feel free to print it out and post it on local bulletin boards.

The Sitka Seafood Festival is Aug. 6-7, and the guest chef is Robert Kinneen of Orso Ristorante in Anchorage, who will prepare a gourmet seafood meal on Friday night with the assistance of several local chefs. Entertainment for the festival will be provided by the bluegrass band Trampled By Turtles (brought to Sitka with the help of Sitka Folk) and the four-man juggling, acrobatic, martial arts and comedy troupe “NANDA: Acrobaticalist Ninja Action Heroes.” The basic format of the event features a special dinner on Friday night with a variety of educational events, seafood booths and entertainment all day Saturday. Click on the poster link below for more details.

Also, don’t forget the beer tasting and smoked salmon contest from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, July 30, at the Westmark Sitka. This fundraising event costs $30, and there will be live music, treats from Chef Jo, a variety of beers to sample from local distributors and a chance to win the prizes in the best smoked salmon contest. There is a $10 fee to enter the contest (which is deducted from your admission), and participants receive five pounds of salmon to smoke. For more details about the contest, go to the Sitka Seafood Festival site or contact Molly Andrews at (509) 953-9509 or molly@sitkawild.org.

And don’t forget the Sitka Seafood Festival art and logo contest, so put on your thinking cap and send your camera-ready art entries to 411 Hemlock St., Sitka, AK, 99835, by Aug. 1. There will be a prize for the winning logo. Also, bring your seafood-, ocean- or marine-themed art to the art show Aug. 7 at Harrigan Centennial Hall. For more information, call Jeff Budd at 747-4821 or e-mail sitkaarts@yahoo.com.

To learn more about the Sitka Seafood Festival or to volunteer to help on one of the committees, e-mail sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com. You also can contact Alicia Peavey at alaska_al33@hotmail.com or 1-928-607-4845. Volunteers still are needed, and some of the lists of duties are posted below with the current list of volunteers.

• Press release about Sitka Seafood Festival cruise to Medvejie Hatchery

• Sitka Seafood Festival schedule poster (opens as PDF document)

• Sitka Seafood Festival details (talking points)

• Sitka Seafood Festival final sponsors list

• Sitka Seafood Festival list of volunteers for Friday night’s banquet dinner

• Sitka Seafood Festival list of volunteers for Saturday’s events