In June, I set off on another adventure with Secret Supper, this time headed to the small fishing town of Cordova, on the Prince William Sound in the Gulf of Alaska. Knowing that I’d be going to Alaska, I prepared myself for the cold and packed warm clothing and wool socks, but realized after I arrived that Alaska was in the middle of a heatwave! We were treated to amazing weather and warm hospitality during our time in Alaska.
Cordova is overshadowed by picturesque, snow-capped mountains to one side and still icy water to the other. Located near the mouth of the Copper River, which is renowned for its wild salmon, the fishing industry really lies at the heart of this small town. For a relatively isolated place - you can only get there by plane or boat - I found it to be truly bustling with so much going on!
Our first night, we enjoyed dinner on the harbor. As the night drew on, the light dimmed slightly, but it still felt like the middle of the day after 10pm. We were curious if it ever became truly dark at night, but decided not to stay up to see. Early the next morning, I headed out with the team to scout the location, on mile 36 of the Copper River Highway, at the very end of the dirt road. The river had shifted dramatically since Secret Supper founder Danielle Firle visited the site several months before, but she took it in stride and developed a new vision for the setup. On the way back, we picked Alaskan cotton for the table and spotted a baby moose along the way. That evening we checked in with Chef Zoi Antonitsas, who was prepping, and the headed off to a BBQ on the boat of some new local friends.
The following day, we headed out early to begin preparations, and I worked to capture the team transforming the open riverbank into the backdrop of an incredible table set for 50. It was a truly wonderful trip to an awe-inspiring location.
Smoked Alaskan Herring Butter, Radish, Toasts
Local Oysters with Juniper Mignonette
Copper River Sockeye Tartare, Sea Buckthorn, Cucumber, Chili
Alaska Spot Prawn Risotto, Vegetable Ash
Grilled Copper River King Salmon, Pacific Coast Mushrooms, Onions Agrodolce, Hazelnut Picada
Dinah’s Cheese, Smoked Honey, Grilled Bread