By Matt Spence, Executive Chef

Hello, my name is Chef Matt Spence, and I would like to introduce a new area to the TNL blog – the culinary aspect of your fishing trip to Alaska! I have worked as an executive chef at fishing lodges in Alaska for the past 14 years with the last several at Tikchik Narrows Lodge. Our culinary program is all-inclusive to your trip with breakfast lunch and dinner consisting of Alaskan favorites such as salmon, halibut, and Alaskan king crab legs. At Tikchik, we offer two entrees for each dinner that is chosen for each night on your arrival. The kitchen staff and myself will start you out with a combo plate of savory salmon and a ginger marinade flank steak served with maple mashed sweet potatoes and green bean sauté. Each meal is served with a starter course of soup or salad and a fresh dessert made by our pastry chef with fresh baked breads. From the fresh salmon to the potato encrusted halibut with a roasted red pepper cream sauce, each meal is made from scratch using the finest local ingredients supplemented with our own fresh herbs and greens from the greenhouse we have on property.

On the first morning, you will start off your day with a hearty breakfast, featuring sourdough blueberry cakes or our version of eggs Benedict using homemade smoked salmon and dill hollandaise sauce. After breakfast, you get ready for your fly out trip to fish the surrounding waters of the Wood-Tikchik State Park and surrounding Bristol Bay watershed. Your lunch consists either of pre-made sandwiches and fresh baked cookies or you can choose to have your well-trained guides prepare an authentic Alaskan shore lunch – where you catch your own meal of salmon, lake trout, or char. A shore lunch is prepared on-site with a large variety of styles and presentations. This is a unique Alaskan experience that I recommend for your stay.

After a wonderful day of fishing and camaraderie, you will arrive back to the lodge where you will be greeted with your favorite beverage along with a hors d’oeuvre hour up in the main lodge. Again, with our hors d’oeuvres we try to use the products Alaska has to offer, including Smoked salmon canapés and a fresh salmon gravlax with mustard sauce. Each day there is something new for you to try – even sushi made fresh from our kitchen. I take pride in serving you the best of the best. Each dinner concludes with a delectable dessert offering from the pastry chef that can include bananas foster and the traditional baked Alaska served flambé.

I hope to provide pictures and recipes for future “Chef’s Corner” blog posts. I look forward to seeing all of our guests at the lodge again this summer. And, I am excited about where we are going with the culinary program at Tikchik for the 2012 season with some new entrees and recipes.