Top Chef Alum, 229 Parks Owner/Executive Chef Laura Cole to Run Muse in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE—James Beard Award-nominee Laura Cole brings her flair for local, sustainable Alaska cuisine to the Anchorage Museum’s full-service restaurant and atrium café this April as the museum leans into its summer visitor season.
Executive chef and owner of 229 Parks Restaurant and Tavern at the entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve, Cole is known for defining Alaska cuisine, bringing the state’s bounty to the table with creativity born of her experience in kitchens around the world and inspired by the distinct character of Alaska’s food culture.
“It’s my goal to nourish and nurture all those who come to our table, focusing on developing and defining Alaska’s cuisine with the help of ranchers, fisherpersons, farmers and foragers across Alaska,” says Cole.
Among her signature dishes are wholesome, cooked-from-scratch snacks, entrees and desserts like crispy parsnip chips with house ranch dressing, Alaska ranched pork ribs with beet root glaze, charred local carrots with crispy chickpeas, Alaska bouillabaisse with saffron aioli, reindeer ragu with mint and house goat ricotta, beet and carrot macaroon ice cream sandwiches, handcrafted sodas and rhubarb lemonade.
Sustainable Food, Alaska-style
Cole’s commitment to clean, pure, healthy and hearty food using local, sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients is a key reason why the museum selected her to run its signature restaurant.
“Laura’s approach to food is about elevating and defining place in a way that respects and reveres its distinct characteristics and people. This approach mirrors the museum’s approach to exhibitions, programs and collections. So, it’s exciting to add food to the ways in which the museum strives to provide a powerful and compelling narrative for the North,” says Anchorage Museum Director and CEO Julie Decker.
MUSE with Laura Cole opens April 9, after a brief closure starting March 31 to prepare for the transition to new management.
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The Marx Bros. Café
Jack Amon and Richard “Van” Hale opened the doors of the Marx Bros. Café on October 18, 1979; however, the two had already been partners in cuisine for some time, having created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday, a weekly evening of food and wine. It was actually the end of the weekly event that spurred the name of the restaurant: hours after its final service, Amon and Hale were hauling equipment and furnishings out of their old location and to their now-iconic building on Third Street, all while managing arguments about equipment ownership, a visit from the police, and quite a bit of wine. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘A Night at the Opera” starring the Marx Brothers, that’s what it was like,” Hale explains.