Hot picks: Chef's choice, rocking it local, and historic Dena'ina sites

Artichokes for sale at the Kenley's Alaskan Vegetables and Flowers stand are among several unusual offerings at the South Anchorage Farmers Market on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, in front of the Dimond Hotel.
Erik Hill
Helen Dick cleans and splits spruce root lashings. In 2009, the Anchorage Museum commissioned Helen and Alan Dick to construct a Dena'ina whitefish trap using traditional Dena'ina methods.

Know your place

Half of Alaskans live in traditional Dena'ina territory, but don't know much about the indigenous people who have called the Cook Inlet region home for 1,000 years. This Saturday you can join "Dena'inaq' Huch'ulyeshi: The Dena'ina Way of Living" curator Aaron Leggett on a bus tour of important Dena'ina sites in the Anchorage Bowl. Stops include the Eklutna Cemetery and Eklutna Lake, where he will discuss the sites' significance to his people, the Eklutna Dena'ina. Held in conjunction with "Dena'inaq' Huch'ulyeshi: The Dena'ina Way of Living," at the Anchorage Museum. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, $35. (929-9201,

Chef's choice

If you're hungry to learn more about preparing local food, this weekend is a chance to get some pointers from the masters. Alaska Public Media, Fresh 49 and Alaska Grown are presenting "The Sustainable Chefs Dinner." Meet chefs from Crush Wine Bistro, Spenard Roadhouse, Bear Tooth and Chinook's Restaurant in Seward as they highlight Alaska grown produce in their dishes. There will be beverages from local breweries and music from the The Carhartt Brothers. 6 p.m. Saturday, Alaska Native Heritage Center. $100-$125 (

Rocking it local

It looks like Mother Nature finally woke up and realized it was September, and cool, wet autumn weather has arrived. All the more reason to take a road trip before the Seward Highway ices over. The city of Seward is hosting a music and arts festival Sept. 27-29, with an impressive musical lineup, headlined by Alaska ex-pats The Builders and The Butchers. There's an array of music scene darlings, including Historian (their last Alaska show before they relocate south), Melissa Mitchell and Friends, Super Saturated Sugar Strings, and Pretty Birds that Kill. For families, there's a play area, circus performance, kids dance and other fun. There's food, vendors and it's all indoors (we suggest you bring a raincoat anyway). Adult passes are $10 or $20 for the weekend. (

Don't feel like driving out of town but still want to catch some good local bands? Bear Tooth's October First Tap Thursday, Oct. 3, will feature an all-Alaska lineup. There's the foot-stomping gypsy alt-folk of Super Saturated Sugar Strings, folk music crooner Melissa Mitchell and synth-pop rockers The Modern Savage. Tickets are $20, ages 21 and over. (