Suzanna Caldwell

Renewable energy company Juneau District Heating on Tuesday announced its plans to build a heat pump system that can provide heat to downtown Juneau using technology that pulls energy from seawater in Gastineau Channel. The process, a sort of reverse refrigeration, takes a small amount of heat extracted from the water and compresses it with a small amount of electricity to create enough heat to warm buildings. Duff Mitchell, managing director of parent company Juneau Hydropower Inc., said the system would use energy from the proposed Sweetheart Lake hydropower project to power the heat pumps. The renewable energy technology isn’t new to Alaska. The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward and the NOAA Ted Stevens Marine Research Facility in Juneau use similar systems to heat their buildings. But,...Suzanna Caldwell
Two Alaska chefs are headed to New York City to show off their skills at one of the nation’s prestigious culinary institutions. Denali Park chef Laura Cole of 229 Parks Restaurant and Tavern and Juneau’s Beau Schooler of The Rookery Café will host a dinner at the James Beard House April 6 . The James Beard House , part of the James Beard Foundation, is probably best known for its annual awards. The awards are considered the Oscars of the food world, with chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and even restaurant architects taking home top honors each year. Last year Schooler was a semifinalist for the Rising Star Chef of the Year award. Cole cooked at the James Beard House in the late 1990s while working for Vermont’s Simon Pearce restaurant. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute selected...Suzanna Caldwell
Petersburg police are searching for a prisoner who escaped from the town's jail Friday morning. Local radio station KFSK reported that police were searching for 22-year-old Jacob Sturgeon of Petersburg. The station reported that Sturgeon escaped from the jail just before 11 a.m. Friday. A Petersburg Police Department dispatcher confirmed that all officers were searching for Sturgeon as of 1:30 p.m. Friday. None were available for an interview. The Petersburg Medical Center and Petersburg schools were in lockdown mode as of Friday afternoon. Doran Hammett, chief financial officer for the medical center, said Sturgeon isn't considered an immediate threat. He said hospital staff decided to lock down the hospital out of caution for patients and staff. Petersburg School District Superintendent...Suzanna Caldwell
It’s not every day that the executive chef of South Restaurant + Coffeehouse finds himself under the instruction of another chef in his own kitchen. But roughly once a month, that’s exactly what’s happening to Shane Moore in the “back room” of the South Anchorage restaurant. Read more: Anchorage...
Tara Young,Suzanna Caldwell
It’s not every day that the executive chef of South Restaurant and Coffeehouse finds himself under the instruction of another chef in his own kitchen. But roughly once a month, that’s exactly what happens to Shane Moore in the “backroom” of the South Anchorage restaurant. “I’m the one making sure (the chef) has enough coffee,” Moore said. The change in leadership is just temporary; Moore lets another chef take over operations for a small group of diners. It’s a pop-up restaurant of sorts, with chefs hosting one-off meals outside of their own kitchens. The small backroom -- built to include its own kitchen -- offers a different kind of exposure for everyone. That visiting chef might be a professional or a highly skilled home-cook. South provides the food and the facilities and head chef...Suzanna Caldwell
Hipsters and Paleo diet enthusiasts around the country are embracing bone broth, drinking it up like coffee and hoping it might cure whatever ails them. And in Alaska, Alaska Broth Co. founder David Chessik hopes people will embrace his fishy version of it. “Every place has its drink,” Chessik said in a phone interview last week. “Really, this broth will some day, some day be thought of as Alaskan coffee.” Chessik’s claim is bold but he’s not completely alone. His is just one of the local companies taking up broth as a business in the last year. Chessik, an attorney, commercial fisherman and owner of Alaska Island Retreat lodge on Cook Inlet’s Kalgin Island, has made broth at his home for years. He decided to start commercially producing this summer, first in Kasilof and later with Copper...Suzanna Caldwell
After 32 years, the Sourdough Mining Company has closed the doors to its gold mine-inspired dining room for good. The Anchorage restaurant, known for its barbecue ribs and honey-butter slathered corn fritters -- served alongside a heaping portion of Alaska kitsch -- announced its closure in a Facebook post Friday . Travis Block -- general manager of The Peanut Farm , sister restaurant to the Sourdough Mining Company -- said in an interview Monday that the high costs of remodeling the building started “compounding on top of each other.” First built in 1983 and designed to look like Hatcher Pass’ Independence Mine -- complete with a replica mine shaft entrance -- Block declined to say what the costs were specifically. He said the business did well during the summer months, but that it was...Suzanna Caldwell
The Anchorage Assembly granted an appeal Tuesday that could allow a downtown coffee and food stand to serve beer and wine. The Assembly approved an administrative appeal allowing AK Alchemist to move forward on its conditional use land permit to get a liquor license, required to serve beer and wine. The Assembly will vote on the resolution Feb. 9. The business began trying to get the license in January 2015. In June, AK Alchemist owners Elise and Adam Blomfield were denied initial site plan approval from the city’s community development department director. AK Alchemist is registered as a mobile food unit and not a restaurant with a dine-in option, which is necessary to secure the liquor license. The Blomfields plan to build a 500-square-foot covered deck off the stand to accommodate...Suzanna Caldwell
Sack’s Café is under new management, but it comes with a familiar face. Laile Fairbairn, managing partner for Locally Grown Properties, said the LLC purchased and took over management of the downtown Anchorage restaurant in October. The same company oversees a group of popular Anchorage restaurants, including Snow City Café, South Restaurant and Coffeehouse and Spenard Roadhouse. Fairbairn said Jo Ann Asher, the former general manager and owner who founded the restaurant 32 years ago, retired last year. The two had already been working together. Asher holds an ownership stake in Spenard Roadhouse. Fairbairn said after opening the Roadhouse it seemed like a natural fit to market the three restaurants together, though they remained separate business entities. Fairbairn said to expect a “few...Suzanna Caldwell
Longtime Anchorage residents will remember Blues Central, the midtown bar and restaurant that closed in 2013. It’s been resurrected at Williwaw (both in name and in a liquor license transfer) but with a far different look. Forget the well-worn booths and neon lighting. Blues Central has gone back...
Tara Young,Suzanna Caldwell

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