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Food fest serves local food cooked by sunlight

Solar kitchen, experimental sculpture, live music part of Anchorage Museum food celebration


Chef Brad Harris of Muse restaurant (not pictured) will utilize the power of the sun in a solar kitchen to prepare a hot a delicious meal. Pictured: Antto Melasniemi.

Photo by Don Mohr

Anchorage foodies can get a taste of local food cooked by the sun’s rays while chefs sample from a living plant sculpture “Arctic Food Forest” on the museum lawn during the museum’s Anchorage Taste Makers Food Fest happening July 22.

With a short growing season, fishing, hunting and gathering, local harvests have long been a part of the Alaska tradition. On July 22, the Anchorage Museum celebrates the local flavors that help make Anchorage a distinct place.

Muse Restaurant Chef Brad Harris will harness the power of the summer sun to cook Alaska fare in a solar kitchen. Local musicians and bands Todd Grebe, The Hot Club and Melissa Mitchell will perform on the museum lawn. Activities include games and demonstrations of a salmon smoking hut.

Dining and beverage options feature an outdoor beer garden, food trucks and vendors, including Muse, Wild Scoops ice cream, Babycakes Cupcakes, Boom Ba Laddy’s and Fromagio’s Artisan Cheese.

In conjunction with the food festival, the Anchorage Museum has “Arctic Food Forest,” an experimental sculpture installation by Mary Mattingly on the museum lawn. Mattingly creates “living sculptures” that function as an ecosystem. Her sculptural garden at the museum includes both native and non-native plants that – until recently – might not have been able to thrive in Alaska, encouraging visitors to question how environmental change might change the flora and the food sources of the North. “Arctic Food Forest” is part of “View From Up Here: The Arctic at the Center of the World,” an art exhibition focused on the contemporary Arctic that takes art beyond the museum’s walls.

Upcoming food programs at the museum include a conversation about cultivating local and traditional plants in the North on Aug. 19, a hands-on evening with Zip Kombucha about local food innovation on Aug. 26, and a watercolor botanical illustration class on Aug. 27 inspired by plants in “Arctic Food Forest.”


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