Wilderness Lodge Chefs Develop Rich Alaskan Culinary Tradition

Editor’s Note: The past year has been an historically challenging one for restaurants everywhere, in rural and non-rural places alike. As diners begin returning to the table, the Daily Yonder is spotlighting chefs and restaurateurs who are lifting up rural food traditions and creating vital community spaces across rural America. If you know of a person or place worth featuring, email us or let us know using the form at the bottom of this article.


Being a chef at an adventure lodge in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness presents its own unique challenges.

Chef Kirsten Dixon knows this first-hand. She recalls hosting one of her cooking mentors, Madeleine Kamman, years ago. For a special treat, she flew in an assortment of French cheeses and artfully arranged them in the root cellar. She imagined they would stroll to the cellar, appreciate the gorgeous arrangement, and indulge together.

Sadly, Kamman was not able to enjoy the spread, as one of Dixon’s neighbors beat her to it. During the night, a bear literally broke down the cellar door and consumed all of the cheese.

Kirsten and her daughter Mandy Dixon are the main chefs at Within the Wild, a food and adventure family business in the South Central region of the state. The two professionally trained chefs enjoy balancing the fine dining they have experienced around the world with the rustic sensibilities of their off-grid lodges. In over 40 years of cooking in the wild, they have developed recipes, rituals, experiences, and techniques that celebrate the exquisitely fresh ingredients, diverse cultural influences, and realities of remote life in the Last Frontier.

Chefs Mandy and Kirsten Dixon at Tutka Bay Lodge. (Photo courtesy of Kirsten Dixon.)

Within the Wild

The Dixon’s journey into the wild began in 1982. Kirsten and her husband Carl were working in the medical field in Anchorage when they decided to make a radical change. “I was working in the ICU with people at the end of their lives,” she said. “I wanted to be in the bright middle of life.”

A map shows Tutka Bay Lodge, located
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Denver Beer Co. Fuels Up Culinary Program With ‘DBC Eats’ Food Truck



DENVER, Colorado – Denver Beer Co. today announced the launch of the DBC Eats food truck, an extension of the Denver Beer Co South Downing location’s DBC Eats kitchen. The DBC Eats food truck will park at the Denver Beer Co. Platte Street taproom, offering food service to brewery patrons Thursday through Sunday, year-round. DBC Eats will fire up its grills on October 28th, 2021, offering a craveable and comforting menu to pair with Denver Beer Co.’s craft beers.

The DBC Eats food truck will provide walk-up service to patrons daily from lunch to dinner to late-night snacks at the Platte Street taproom. The menu will focus on approachable, beer-centric fare to include elevated comfort foods as well as healthy and vegetarian options. The food truck will also host special menu items and pairings with Cerveceria Colorado, including “Venga Viernes,” a Friday beer and taco special, and churros for special events.

“The DBC Eats Food Truck allows us to provide a consistent and customized culinary experience to pair perfectly with our craft beers” stated Denver Beer Co. co-founder Charlie Berger. “We’ve always known that a food truck is a great addition to a brewery patio, it has been part of our customer experience from day one. Creating our own culinary program is a natural next step in the process.”

Denver Beer Co was founded in 2011 and has four breweries including a taproom and beer garden on Platte Street in downtown Denver, a taproom and brewery in Olde Town Arvada, a taproom and kitchen on South Downing Street,  and a production brewery, Canworks, in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood which focuses primarily on the brewing, canning, and bottling of beer for distribution.

About Denver Beer Co.

Independently owned and operated, Denver Beer Co. is founded on the core belief that beer is serious fun. Using locally sourced grain and the finest ingredients available, traditional methods and innovative spirit, our team creates craft beer that is approachable, fun, damn delicious and consistently wins awards to prove it.  We believe in environmental stewardship and our corporate responsibility to operate sustainably which

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