• Alaskans Own to host fish sale on Monday, Nov. 4, in Sitka

AO_LogoDo you need to stock up your freezer with locally caught fish for the winter? Alaskans Own Seafood of Sitka will host a fish sale from 3-6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, at the Mill Building (next to the Sitka Sound Science Center).

The sale will feature several types of frozen fish commonly sold at the Alaskans Own Seafood booth at the Sitka Farmers Market or found in the monthly community-supported fisheries subscription boxes — king (chinook) salmon, silver (coho) salmon, halibut, and rockfish. In addition, spot prawns will be available at this sale.

To learn more, contact Erin Fulton at 747-3477 or email her at efulton@thealaskatrust.org.

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• Sitka Seafood Festival announces new director; will host art auction on Saturday, Oct. 5

ssfauctionc

(The following letter to the editor originally appeared on Page 2 of the Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, edition of the Daily Sitka Sentinel. It is reprinted here with the writer’s permission.)
 
ssflogo2The fifth annual Sitka Seafood Festival (SSF) is scheduled for Aug. 1-2, 2014. The festival continues to grow each year. This past year we brought in more than 100 out-of-own guests, had some national recognition from a couple of well-known culinary magazines, and continued to have more and more local support. 
 
Over the past four years, we have had a small group of volunteers working extremely hard to follow through with our mission statement, to “celebrate wild Alaskan seafood.” We have done this through education, such as bringing in amazing speakers such as a 2012 McArthur Genius Award-winner David Montgomery, and accomplished author, professor and chef Becky Selengut to offer free presentations to the public. We also started the new culinary scholarship award this past year which we hope will continue to grow to give a passionate future culinary artist more experience and funds to pursue their career further. 
 
We offer entertainment, including local and headliner bands such as the well-known band Trampled by Turtles, aerial silk dancers, Ninja acrobatics, and of course, the addition of the Scottish Highland Games and this past year the full- and half-marathon. But, even with all the other fun events going on, the focus of our festival is based around celebrating the culinary aspect of our amazing, local seafood products.  
Carolyn Kinneen

Carolyn Kinneen

I am writing this letter today to introduce you to the new director and co-directors of the Sitka Seafood Festival. I am so extremely excited with the potential of where this festival can go. If anyone gets the pleasure to meet our new directors, I think they will share in my enthusiasm, because these folks encompass what this festival is all about, and I think it can only get better from here!  The 2014 SSF Director is Carolyn Kinneen, along with co-directors Jeren Schmidt and Robert Kinneen.  All past board members, including myself, are staying active with the festival. 

Carolyn Kinneen is wife to our four-time returning guest chef Robert Kinneen, and has been active in the festival since the start. She currently lives in Anchorage, but with the help of our local co-director, Jeren Schmidt, should be a wonderful fit.  Carolyn works in many different areas of food-related advocacy and policy, and sits on multiple boards pertaining to Alaskan-based foods.  She has experience in running a large array of projects including the TEDx Anchorage lecture series, as well as the Alaska Food Policy Council

We are very excited to have Carolyn on board. If anyone would like to hear more about Carolyn, or pick her’s or any other board member’s brains about the future SSF, we will be holding an open “meet and greet” at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct 4, at Baranof Island Brewing Company (215 Smith St.).  Come say hello and welcome Carolyn, Rob and Jeren to their new positions, and feel free to pass along any suggestions, concerns or input you may have. 

Thank you for your continued support Sitka!  Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 5th annual SSF Aug 1-2, 2014. And please attend our upcoming fundraiser, the Live Art Auction with the Fishermen’s Eye Gallery, at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 5, at the Westmark Sitka Hotel.

— Alicia Haseltine, past SSF Director, current board member

• 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

• Aug. 1 entry deadline approaches in the search for a signature Sitka seafood dish

In an effort to support and promote the position of Alaska’s wild seafoods in the global marketplace, the Sitka Seafood Festival organizers and the Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau have partnered to help inspire the creation of a signature seafood dish for Sitka.

Both professional and amateur chefs are encouraged to enter this contest, which will have judging take place from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. The entry deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 1.

It is our sincere hope that this contest inspires locals to create an exciting seafood entrée that would become synonymous with Sitka. We also hope that the majority, if not all, local restaurants will offer their own version of the winning entry and eventually adopted by restaurants nationwide.

Guidelines:

  • Main Ingredient — Any locally available wild Alaskan seafood (eg, salmon, halibut, ling cod, black cod/sablefish, crab, shrimp, scallops, snapper/rockfish, etc.)
  • Quantity — Minimum of 12 servings of approximately 2 ounces each. The more the merrier!!
  • Categories — Versatile recipe/economical version, mid-priced version and, of course, gourmet.
  • Entries must be pre-made/ready-to-serve, no kitchen access will be available on-site.
  • Recipes for entries must be provided and will become public domain.
  • Deadline to enter is Wednesday, Aug. 1. There is no cost to enter
  • Set-up available at 11 a.m. and judging will begin at noon on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.
  • Judging — An anonymous panel of judges will determine the winner based on various criteria (taste, recipe flexibility, potential retail price, marketability, availability, etc.)

The winning entry will receive a cash prize, a certificate acknowledging their accomplishment, local promotion and, of course, bragging rights as Sitka’s signature dish. The winner will be announced during the Sitka Seafood Festival’s evening events at the Alaska Arts SE Campus at Sheldon Jackson.

Entry forms can picked up at Old Harbor Books or e-mailed to you. Contact Philip Rupell at 747-5940 or send e-mail to sitkaseafoodfestival@gmail.com.

• Contest information for Sitka Signature Seafood Dish competition 2012

• Alaskans Own Seafood wins Table of the Day at first Sitka Farmers Market of 2012

Table of the Day: Natalie Sattler of Alaskans Own Seafood, center, receives the Table of the Day award from Sitka Farmers Market Manager/Sitka Local Foods Network Board Member Johanna Willingham, left, and Sitka Local Foods Network Board Member Doug Osborne during the first Sitka Farmers Market of the season on Saturday, July 7, 2012, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Sitka. At each market a vendor is honored by the Sitka Local Foods Network, which sponsors the Sitka Farmers Market. The next market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, 2012, at ANB Hall, 235 Katlian St.

• Vendor forms available for the Sitka Seafood Festival’s market on Aug. 11

The Sitka Seafood Festival is recruiting food and other vendors for its market on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Harrigan Centennial Hall and the Crescent Harbor Shelter. In past years vendors have sold local seafood items, arts and crafts, books, clothing and other items related to seafood and the oceans.

The third annual Sitka Seafood Festival (and Scottish Highland Games) takes place on Aug. 10-11 at various locations around downtown Sitka. The final schedule still is being organized, but in previous years there usually has been a seafood dinner on Friday night catered by guest and local chefs, followed by a market and fun events such as tote races and bobbing for fish heads on Saturday. There usually are guest musicians who play on Saturday night, and this year they’ve added a Scottish Highland Games where people can throw heavy stones or toss the caber (a large pole/tree trunk that must go end-over-end when it lands). Other new events this year include a Sitka Signature Seafood Dish contest and a wedding cake contest.

To learn more about the event, check out the website. To become a vendor, download the forms linked below and contact Christi (Wuerker) Henthorn at 738-9047 or christinawuerker@uwalumni.com.

• 2012 Sitka Seafood Festival Vendor Information and Registration Forms

• Join us at the Fish to Schools benefit dinner on Wednesday, April 25

Come help Sitkans support the award-winning Fish to Schools program by attending a benefit dinner from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, at Sweetland Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus.

This benefit dinner will include a presentation of the grand prize of the Alaska Farm to Schools Challenge for the 2011-12 school year, which will be presented by Johanna Herron of the Alaska Department of Resources. The benefit features a local seafood dinner of crispy oven-baked rockfish prepared by chef Colette Nelson of Ludvig’s Bistro and students from Pacific High School’s food services program.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $5 for youth age 18 and younger, and they can be purchased at Old Harbor Books. All proceeds benefit the Sitka Fish to Schools program that brings regular fish meal choices to students at Blatchley Middle School, Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School and Pacific High School.

The Fish to Schools program (link goes to April 15 Juneau Empire article) was a community health project from the 2010 Sitka Health Summit, and the Sitka Conservation Society has been managing the 2-year-old program in partnership with the Sitka School District, local fishermen and other community partners. For more information about the Fish to Schools program, contact Tracy Gagnon of the Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509 or tracy@sitkawild.org.