Wild Alaskan Seafood Chefs

Posted on March 23, 2012


Wild Alaskan Seafood Cookbook by James O. Fraioli

In this age of computers I am certain that fewer print versions of cookbooks are being purchased for home use, and I am one who will turn to the web when I need a quick recipe. However, I do love to have a collection of core cookbooks on hand to reference as well. Recently I became aware of an Alaska seafood cookbook that I missed when it was initially released, but Costco now has copies of it available in their Alaskana book section. The byline of Wild Alaskan Seafood by James O. Fraioli is “Celebrated Recipes from America’s Top Chefs.” I was pleased to find that amidst the chefs from celebrated restaurants, there were two Alaskan chefs that I have had the pleasure of knowing and meeting.

Chef Joel Chenet photographed by Patrice Helmar

Chef Joel Chenet is a chef who could and has found success in his craft anywhere in the world, but has chosen to make a life on the fishing island of Kodiak. Any trip to Kodiak must include a visit to his Mill Bay Coffee and Pastries where you will find French pastry of the highest caliber, coffee that is roasted on premises, and a seafood special of some kind every day. Chef Joel earned the title “Ambassador of Sustainable Seafood” while competing at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Cooking for Solutions event series. I have the honor of knowing Chef Joel because of his generous contributions of time and talent to the Save Bristol Bay and Why Wild programs. In the cookbook Chef Joel states, “Here in Kodiak, Alaska, we have a great fishery management program in place to ensure all of our seafood is sustainable. As a chef who strongly supports seafood sustainability, cooking with the ‘right’ fish is very important to me.”

Chef Rob Kinneen photographed by Brian Adams for The Anchorage Press

Chef Rob Kinneen is an Alaska born chef who has put together quite an impressive resume for his age. He has trained and worked around the country and since returning to Alaska has held high posts at some of the most prestigious restaurants in the Anchorage area. Most recently he served as Executive Chef at Orso and made it a priority to serve “wild and Alaskan whenever possible.” Kinneen is Tlingit from Southeastern Alaska and has familial and cultural knowledge to draw from that also contributes to his chef skills. He has shared this cultural wealth in webisodes entitled “Traditional Foods, Contemporary Chef” that include cooking demonstrations with indigenous ingredients that have either been foraged or hunted. Kinneen has also partnered with Gary Ferguson on a Native wellness program sponsored by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium called “The Store Outside Your Door.”

Both Chef Joel and Chef Rob are doing great work that contributes to the health of the people and the fisheries in our state and I was glad to see them recognized in this book of Wild Alaskan Seafood recipes.


Posted in: Bristol Bay, Fish