North! To Alaska

Editor Paul King prepares for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

A trip to Alaska has been on my bucket list for a number of years now. I have traveled to several of our nation’s wilderness areas during my life and marveled at the beauty and power of nature. I have found both adrenaline-pumping excitement and calming serenity within the borders of such places as Yosemite, Yellowstone and Shenandoah national parks. To me, Alaska represents a last frontier of sorts.

Well, I’ve finally gotten my wish. But it comes with a caveat. It will be in the middle of winter. I travel to the Aleutian Islands this week on a tour sponsored by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to witness the catching and processing of such seafood as pollock and crab. Think of it as FoodService Director visits "Deadliest Catch."

I will be in the company of four other trade press editors. The trip begins with a trip to the Redmond, Wash., headquarters of Unisea, a major processor of fish and seafood and our host for this expedition. Included will be a visit to Dutch Harbor, on the island of Unalaska, and a short voyage on a freighter to Akutan, where Trident Seafoods has a processing plant.

This is not the Alaska bucket list trip I had envisioned. On the other hand it is like that most special of Christmas presents, the one where someone gives you something you would never have purchased for yourself.

As an editor, I realize the educational value of trips such as this. But this is much more than a trip to a cattle, hog or chicken processing facility. This will be an adventure, and I am looking forward to it.

Through the magic of our website and our Facebook page, I’ll be able to share my experience with you, in the form of more blogs and photos. Stay tuned.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Managing Your Business
umass amherst food

Restaurateurs in Amherst, Mass., aren’t happy with UMass Dining .

Registered dietitian Dianne Sutherland told local NBC affiliate WWLP News in May that the high quality of food served on campus means students aren’t visiting neighborhood eateries as frequently as those businesses might like.

“Even our vendors who we work with, they get complaints from the restaurants that students are staying on campus,” she said. “They are already paying for the food; why should they [go] off campus to eat?” More than 19,000 Amherst students are on a meal plan—6,000 of whom live off campus...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce eat dining

Forced to battle crumbling infrastructure and a constant churn of trends, sometimes the best way to save a foodservice operation is to change it entirely. As Steve Mangan, director of dining at the University of Michigan, puts it, “At some point when your building starts to fail, the cost of maintenance stands out.” But for operators with limited budgets, the challenge is discerning the right time to do so—and how far to take it.

At Jefferson High School, change came because little worked anymore. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, school’s cafeteria hadn’t been updated since 1957; students...

Managing Your Business
farmer produce

The seeds of farm-to-table 2.0 have officially blown into noncommercial foodservice. Since the movement has caught the attention of the segment during the past decade, operators have broadened agricultural collaborations outside of just supply. As a result, a new strain of the movement has been created that treats farms as allies in events, training and innovative growing systems.

The 500-bed Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J., didn’t start out sourcing produce from local farms; instead, it administered its own growing programs, including an on-site garden and honeybee apiary...

FSD Resources