We communicate to our guests through our cuisine our love of Alaska, love of the Pacific Ocean, and the clean, wild soils we work with in our gardens.

Chef Kirsten Dixon

Kirsten has been cooking in the backcountry of Alaska for more than twenty years. She is a passionate culinary student, educator, and an avid gardener. Kirsten spends most of her time at Winterlake Lodge, where she frequently teaches cooking classes in the kitchen or gives tours of the herb garden.

Kirsten attended culinary school at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, and she holds a master’s degree in gastronomy (food history) from Adelaide University in Australia.

She has published several cookbooks, including The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook, and is currently working on a new book project. Kirsten completed an MFA program in creative writing at Goddard College, Vermont. Kirsten has written for and has been featured in many national and international publications.

Kirsten won an award for “Best Female Chef USA” for The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook at the Gourmand International Cookbook Awards in 2004.

Chef Mandy Dixon

Chef Mandy Dixon frequently instructs at the Cooking School at Tutka Bay. She attended Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and continued her education at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California. She worked for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group before returning to her family business in Alaska.

Mandy is currently the chef at Winterlake Lodge where she prepares meals and desserts for guests. She oversees and manages the La Baleine Café in Homer. She frequently travels in pursuit of culinary education and teaches often.

Mandy was recently a featured chef at the James Beard House in New York.

Kirsten and Mandy oversee our team of eight seasonal chefs that join us at Winterlake Lodge, Tutka Bay Lodge, the Cooking School at Tutka Bay, and the La Baleiene Cafe.

Chef Mark Lutz

Mark began his culinary career at age 15, washing dishes in a college dining hall. Since then, he’s cooked in over 45 countries, with several extended stints as a chef at award-winning restaurants in his hometown of Boston. When not cooking, Mark is an avid sea kayaker and river rafter. Each winter season, Mark travels the world extensively.

Chef Tim Crockett

Tim is our Anchorage-based research and development chef on our culinary team.

He focuses on recipe testing, searching out farmers and purveyors, assisting chefs with finding Alaska artisan products, and he sends supplies out to the lodges. Tim has worked as executive chef at Tutka Bay Lodge in the past and he is instrumental on our upcoming cookbook project, “Living Within The Wild” due out in the spring of 2020. Tim is an athlete who mountain bikes the hills and trails around Anchorage and he makes frequent visits to the lodges.