Sitka, Alaska Food & Wine Tour - Madison Eats
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    Madison Eats Destination Culinary Tours

    Sitka, Alaska Food and Wine Tour

    Tour Dates/PRICING: TBD for 2021

    “Due to the latest travel advisories, Sitka Salmon Shares has decided to postpone the 2020 Sitka Food + Wine Trip. We hope to offer a 2021 trip to see our home in Sitka, Alaska and will share details as they become available.”

    Sitka Salmon Shares’ welcomes you to our home: Sitka, Baranof Island, and the 17-million acre Tongass National Forest. Our week- long tour highlights the natural beauty and resource abundance of this wild place, and with use of multiple senses. We will explore, learn about, eat, and drink (literally and figuratively) what Southeast Alaska has to offer, while being guided by renowned academics, passionate conservationists, multi-generational fishermen, talented chefs, expert sommeliers and professional guides.

    To quote John Muir: “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” Join us for a one-of-a-kind curated Alaskan food and wine experience.

    Sitka, Alaska – 7 nights in the Westmark Hotel

    This expertly curated food and wine experience is based out of Sitka Alaska on Baranof Island. This enchanting island is just over 1600 square miles and provides an incredible opportunity to learn about Alaskan nature, culture and cuisine with experienced and passionate tour leaders.

    Highlights:

    • In depth wine pairing classes with sommelier Andrea Hillsey
    • Learn the trade of Sitka’s commercial fishermen with hands-on fishing excursions
    • Memorial Day picnic with wild caught seafood and an unparalleled view
    • Hike the coastal rainforest
    • Tlingit Ancestry and Culture
    • Sitka history tour
    • Local ecology tour into Tongass National Forest
    • Foraging excursion with local expert
    • Cooking classes focused on sustainable seafood
    • Seafood cooking tips and wine pairing suggestions

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    Food Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: Saturday, May 23rd

    Arrive on Baranof Island, Alaska ready to indulge and explore. After a long travel day, we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner, a wine tasting and a chance to get to know your fellow travelers before resting up for our incredible week of curated food, culture, nature and wine experiences.

    • Lodging: Westmark
    • Meals: D

    Day 2: Sunday, May 24th

    After a delicious breakfast at Beak restaurant, we will get to know the community of Sitka and the cultural history with a tour of the city and the Sitka Historical Park by Dr. Nic Mink, CEO and Co-Founder of Sitka Salmon Shares.

    After a light lunch we will head to Dove Island by boat, just a 10 minute boat ride where we will enjoy our first seafood and wine dinner, expertly paired by sommelier Andrea Hillsey.

    • History of Sitka tour with Nic (4hrs)
    • Opening Wine/Cocktails/Dinner at Dove Island
    • Pairing sparkling wine with seafood
    • Lodging: Westmark
    • Meals: B, D

    Day 3: Monday, May 25th

    After breakfast we’ll embark on a Memorial Day to remember! We’ll head inland to the Tongass National Rainforest for a hike with a local guide where we will learn about Salmon spawning habitat and local ecology of this beautiful ecosystem. After lunch on our own we will head to Halibut Point for an incredible holiday cookout with a view. We’ll forage for ingredients and learn some wine pairing basics.

    Recipes provided for your enjoyment when you return home.

    • Rainforest hike (about 3 miles)
    • Foraged foods and wine pairing
    • Memorial Day cookout
    • Lodging: Westmark
    • Meals: B, D

    Day 4: Tuesday, May 26th

    We’re going fishing! We’ll head out of commercial fishing boats to see how it’s done – and try your hand at catching dinner. This 4-hour excursion will give us a taste of what goes into getting your catch onto your plate. After lunch we’ll head to the local bar for a well-earned beer! In the evening we’ll have a very special dinner at one of Sitka’s finest restaurants where they will prepare our catch for dinner. Are you a red wine lover? This evening is for you. Andrea walks us through pairing reds with seafood. Red wine with fish is delish!

    • Red wine with fish
    • Commercial fishing excursion
    • *Alternate rain day activities planned.
    • Lodging: Westmark
    • Meals: B, L, D

    Day 5: Wednesday, May 27th – FREE DAY

    Free day! After breakfast enjoy a free day. Explore Sitka on your own, book a spa experience or join any number of local activities. A list of options will be provided and we can help you book! Meet up at the hotel bar at night to tell your tales or we’ll catch up the following day at breakfast.

    • Lodging: Westmark
    • Meals: B

    Day 6: Thursday, May 28th

    After a delicious breakfast at local restaurant Beak, we’ll head out for another fishing excursion. This time we’ll learn how the folks at Sitka use pot traps to responsibly catch crustaceans such as bairdi crabs. What an incredible opportunity to learn first hand about sourcing seafood responsibly! After lunch and a little afternoon r&r we’ll enjoy the fruits of our labor at dinner where local chefs will prepare our catch and Andrea will pair it with Burgundy.

    • Pot trap fishing
    • Pairing shellfish with burgundy
    • Lodging: Westmark
    • Meals: B, L, D

    Day 7: Friday, May 29th

    Relax and enjoy your final morning Sitka before we throw you an exclusive, fun and delicious farewell dinner party. After breakfast you can explore Sitka, do last minute shopping or just relax. After lunch on our own we’ll take a short boat ride to a private island residence where we will enjoy rosé and apéritifs while taking in 360 views of SE Alaska including Baranof Island, Mt. Edgecumbe, and Sitka Sound. That evening we will work through several small courses with a hands on demo led by your co-hosts at Sitka Salmon Shares. Learn basic wine and seafood pairing tips and tricks and tips for cooking your seafood at home. Dinner will emphasize natural wine pairings. Our parting gifts will ensure you can recreate this experience on your own home!

    • Natural Wine
    • Farewell dinner party and basic tips and tricks for wine and seafood prep and pairing
    • Lodging: Westmark
    • Meals: B, D

    Day 8: Saturday, May 30th

    It’s departure day. After breakfast and a debriefing we’ll head to the airport for the journey home.

    • Departure day
    • Meals: B

    Meet your tour leaders!

    Madison Eats owner Otehlia Cassidy is eating tacos

    Otehlia Cassidy

    Owner, Guide

    Otehlia founded Madison Eats Food Tours in 2012, after spending years trying to create her ideal job combining her passion for local food, teaching, dancing, and sustainable development. What emerged is a business connecting people with Madison’s rich local food scene through exceptional food tours and events. 

    Otehlia Cassidy
    Andrea selecting wine

    Andrea Hillsey

    Andrea Hillsey is originally from Michigan, she played softball at Purdue University and then went on to study hospitality at Florida International University in Miami, FL. In 2010, she worked harvest at Chehalem Winery in the Willamette Valley. She is currently the owner/operator of Square Wine Company, a retail wine shoppe she opened on Madison’s (WI) Capitol Square in 2012. The shoppe is dedicated to selling wines from small, family growers who make honest wines that reflect a sense of place.

    Andrea Hillsey
    Photo of a man on a hiking trail

    Nic Mink

    CEO and Co-Founder of Sitka Salmon Shares

    Nic Mink is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sitka Salmon Shares, a direct-to-consumer seafood company based in Sitka, Alaska, and a lecturer in the Environmental Studies Department at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.

    Nic Mink
    Photo of man holding a fish

    Marsh Skeele

    Marsh Skeele began fishing as a child, helping on his dad’s boat long before he owned his own. After finishing college, he quickly realized that not only was fishing his greatest skill, it was also his passion. In 2010, Marsh set to work establishing the second generation of Skeele fishermen.

    Marsh Skeele

    Deposits/Payments

    Deposits/Payments: Cost is $5500/person double occupancy. To hold your spot on the tour a $500 non-refundable deposit is required. This can be paid by check (address below). Any single supplement charge should also be included with the deposit. You will get an email reminder when payment is due.

    Final non-refundable payment is due 30 days before the course/tour in US dollars. You can also choose to send full payment in advance of the course/tour.

    Single supplement: $750 ensures a private room.

    Refunds and adjustments: There will be no refunds or adjustments for unused portion of the tour.

    Tour Policies and Procedures

    Cancellation and Refund: If Madison Eats Food Tours/Sitka Salmon, LLC cancels the tour, all fees paid to by guest will be refunded. We strongly encourage trip insurance in case of unforeseen events that result in the cancellation of your trip.

    Photography release: The tour participants permits Madison Eats Food Tours, LLC to photographs, films, images, text, testimonials of participants for its own commercial use without compensation to participants.

    Any dispute related to these terms and conditions or the program itself, directly or indirectly shall be settled solely in the courts of Madison, WI. In such litigation, Wisconsin law will apply.

    *Does not include round trip airfare to Sitka, airport taxes, personal expenses, travel insurance. Includes meals, alcoholic beverages and excursions as specified in itinerary as well as all tips to staff and guides for included excursions.

    By registering, you agree to our Policies & Procedures including our Waiver & Liability Release policy.

    Otehlia Cassidy stands in front of the WI State Capitol.

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