Chef Brett Knipmeyer makes fine dining a casual affair

Anchorage chef and restaurateur Brett Knipmeyer has a pretty good idea why he was recently selected as a regional semifinalist for a prestigious James Beard Foundation Award, and it isn't his kitchen skills. "They probably thought, 'He'd be perfect for a James Beard Award -- look at his beard!'" joked Knipmeyer.

The art of restraint

Chef Reuben Gerber is perched atop Alaska's dining scene, and he loves the view: the grandeur of Alaska's mountains, water and wildlife, the pressure of guiding one of Alaska's most revered restaurants.

Fearless food

Mike Dodge is a lifelong Alaskan, but in the kitchen he's a citizen of the world. Dodge is executive chef and partner in Anchorage's two Hott Stixx Restaurants, and his menus take diners to Jamaica, Japan, China, Thailand, Israel and Indonesia, among other destinations. One popular stop is Alaska - salmon, halibut, scallops, crab and produce pack the menu.

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