A few years back, I visited Alaska on a small cruise ship with my husband. The seven-night trip through Southeast Alaska took us to some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful places I’ve been, from Windham Bay to Stephens Passage and Glacier Bay National Park. It was nothing short of the adventure of a lifetime: We saw deep blue glaciers, stunning sunsets over the water, and an incredible array of birds and sea animals. The food was top-notch (I remain impressed to this day by how UnCruise, our cruise line, pulled off five-star meals in the smallest kitchen space I have ever seen) and the seafood couldn’t have been fresher. I’ll never forget the fierce pinpricks on my skin after a polar plunge in bitterly cold Alaska waters, or the sheer adrenaline rush of encountering a bear on a hike. But the feeling that has stayed with me the most is staring up at a massive calving glacier, thinking, I can’t wait to return — while knowing that due to climate change, the places I’d visited might be completely unrecognizable when I finally made it back.
The thing about visiting a tiny corner of a massive state is that you leave knowing you’ve seen maybe 1 percent of what this gloriously wild place has to offer. That’s why I’m so thrilled to share Eater’s latest travel guide, which delves into the most delicious aspects of Alaska. “There is no influence more important to Alaska’s food culture than subsistence, the Indigenous tradition of living off the land,” writes consulting editor Julia O’Malley in the introduction to the package. Jennifer Fergesen explores Southeast Alaska’s adobo and how it is uniquely influenced by Filipino migration and Native Tlingit cooking traditions. Consulting editor Joshua Hunt celebrates the indestructible cracker that is Alaska’s favorite — and most versatile — food. Video producer Daniel Geneen discovers just how difficult it can be to fish for salmon. And of course, we have maps on where to eat in Anchorage, Juneau, and more. It’s a fascinating compilation of stories that will have you immediately planning a trip for next summer — or, like me, scheming about how to get back ASAP.
Below, you’ll find some of my favorite reads from the past two weeks. If you liked this email, please forward it to a friend or encourage them to sign up here.
- Eater senior correspondent Meghan McCarron published a three-part investigation into Blue Hill and Stone Barns in New York. It’s a long but important read about whether a fine dining restaurant and its nonprofit farm partner can live up to its own standards for saving the world. Part One looks at Blue Hill, the famed restaurant; Part Two explores the livestock program at Stone Barns; Part Three investigates the nonprofit and its lofty (and somewhat unrealistic) mission.
- We’ve updated our 38 essential restaurants maps across the network! Here are our picks for New York, Seattle, D.C., London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago, to name a few.
- An interview with Dhamaka chef Chintan Pandya on how he got his job. I love that he still sometimes does delivery between his restaurants.
- How SingleThread Inn in Sonoma puts together its Japanese-inspired tasting menu.
- FX orders Season 2 of hit restaurant show The Bear — beware, spoilers for Season 1 in here if you’re as behind with your pop-culture viewing as I am. For a spoiler-free read, here’s Amy McCarthy’s review.
- Scammers have hit restaurants across the country, threatening them with an onslaught of one-star reviews unless they receive an online gift card.
- Eater is hosting two events at the upcoming New York City Wine & Food Festival — dinner with Anthony Ha and Sadie Mae Burns of Ha’s Đặc Biệt at Gage & Tollner, and lunch with the chefs behind Cote Korean Steakhouse and Dhamaka. I’ll be at the latter, and hope to see you all there!
- Popeyes biscuits are the perfect party food, says Jaya Saxena. I couldn’t agree more.
- Easy tequila cocktails with five ingredients or less for all your summer entertaining plans, from our sibling publication Punch.
- The rise of recipe developer as a “cool job,” by Alicia Kennedy in Gawker.
- In Texas Monthly, José R. Ralat explores the popularity of birria and what that means for taco culture.
- Washingtonian on why Old Bay is suddenly on everything, from Goldfish crackers to vodka.
- Why Asma Khan closed her perennially popular London restaurant, Darjeeling Express, from Katherine LaGrave at Afar.