To be honest, we had to look up Tutka Bay on the map. FYI: it’s in Alaska.
That said, it was with pleasure that we did so. For when “The Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook” came across our desk and we started flipping through the pages of this wonderful tome, we knew that not only did we want to know more about it, but we also needed to find a way to get its authors, the mother/daughter culinary team of Kirsten and Mandy Dixon, on our show.
For those thinking that the food in the book may resemble something they may spot on the Kilcher Family dinner table in an episode of Discovery Channel’s Alaska: The Last Frontier, fear not, there’s not one Moose recipe in the book. No frontier cooks, both Kirsten and Mandy have been trained professionally, with Kirsten attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and Mandy the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu’s California outpost.
Yet, the inspiration for their culinary interpretation stays close to their home base on the coast of Alaska, where Kirsten and her husband Carl settled three decades ago to open The Tutka Bay Lodge on the coast of Kachemak Bay, now also home to the Cooking School at Tutka Bay; and Winterlake Lodge, a “fly-in only” lodge in Alaska’s Wilderness.
Billed as a cookbook to celebrate “Coastal Cuisine from the Wilds of Alaska,” The Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook is a glimpse into the sophisticated side of working with Alaska’s seafood-heavy food bounty. Sure, it’s got a bunch of Salmon and Crab dishes, and it certainly features recipe items that are of an Alaskan “foragers” origin like Bullwhip Kelp and fresh Rose Hips, but it’s in no way a locavore cookbook. It’s just a damn good cookbook that will inspire all who read it to delve into the well thought-out recipes that line its pages.
To make things even more enticing, along the way The Tutka Lodge Cookbook is laced with recipes that show local ingredient-based dishes peppered with global inflections inspired from the many trips Kirsten and Mandy have taken in their never-ending quest to learn the world’s different cuisines and bring them home to their inquisitive clientele.
Two of Alaska’s most celebrated and inspiring chefs, we’re thrilled to welcome Kirsten and Mandy Dixon to The Connected Table LIVE! on Wednesday March 2, 2016, 2:25pmEST to talk about their Award-winning cookbook (winner: the IACP Cookbook Award), their Lodge-focused life in hospitality, and if we’re lucky, a quick tutorial on how to make Salmon Bacon (see recipe below.) Connect www.withinthewild.com Follow: Twitter@withinthewild
6 ounces alaska cold-smoked salmon lox (about 10 slices)
1⁄2 pound rhubarb, washed, trimmed, and chopped
1⁄2 cup honey
1⁄2 cup apple cider
1⁄2 shallot, sliced
1 teaspoon freshly ground coarse black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat the foil with spray release or with oil. Lay down each of the pieces of salmon onto the baking sheet. Set aside.
Place the rhubarb, honey, apple cider, shallot, and about a teaspoon of black pepper into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the rhubarb is cooked and begins to fall apart. Add a little additional apple cider if more liquid is necessary.
Cook for about 30 minutes until the mixture has reduced down to a thick syrupy consistency.
Brush the salmon with the rhubarb lacquer. Place the baking sheet onto the center rack of the oven and bake for about 5 to 6 minutes or until the bacon is just crisp.
Makes about 10 slices of bacon.