The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Heidi Zemach
For The LOG 

CIRI welcomes new executive chef to Seward



Jerry Phaisaath, CIRI Alaska Tourism Corporation's new executive chef for its Seward-area facilities.

CIRI Alaska Tourism Corporation is getting ready to reopen its Seward area lodges and dining establishments in time for the upcoming tourist season, May 16. CIRI has hired another experienced Alaska executive chef to oversee its food and beverage operations at Windsong Lodge; the Resurrection Roadhouse Restaurant, Goliath Bar & Grill, a half a mile off the Seward Highway along Herman Leirer/Exit Glacier Road.

Jerry Phaisaath, the corporation's new executive chef, has been the chef at CIRI's Talkeetna Lodge for the last two years, so they are quite familiar with his skills and standards, and believe he will be a good fit for the Seward location, said CIRI Marketing Director Dee Buchanon.

Phaisavath formerly owned and operated the Chloe Group of restaurant management in Oregon. He also has extensive experience in large hotel operations as the former executive chef for the Crown Plaza Silicon Valley in San Jose, Calif., where he led the food and beverage operations to number one in the company in a single year, Buchanon said.

He replaces CIRI's longtime head chef in Seward Erik Slater, who recently purchased Seward Brewing Company downtown, and will be the new chef there, along with his wife Hillary Bean, its new general manager.

Every year the menu offerings are changed a little, so Phaisaath has been working hard with CIRI to plan out some new menu items for the upcoming season, but many of the items people have come to enjoy will remain, Buchanon said.

Phaisaath also will oversee all lodge weddings or business catering functions. He also will manage the cuisine at Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge on Fox Island. That means preparing pastries, ordering seafood, and coordinating its delivery to the remote island. This year the lodge will offer cooking classes to customers, including preparing salmon bellies, a frequently overlooked, yet delicious part of the fish.

The Roadhouse is a popular spot for local residents, summer workers and tourists, who enjoy gathering on its decks on sunny Friday or weekend evenings, sharing a favorite beverage, appetizers or meals that might include wild Alaska seafood, burgers, salads and herb-crusted pizzas. The bar and grill is also known for its Goliath 16-tap system featuring a wide selection of Alaska beers, specialty cocktails. It has received the Wine Spectator Award each year since 2011. The local offers scenic views of Resurrection River valley, just 8 miles from the foot of Exit Glacier, and the children enjoy exploring the generous lawn, pathways and pavilion.

CATC also owns and operates Kenai Fjords Tours, one of two major wildlife cruise ship tour companies operating of Seward's Small Boat Harbor. CATC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cook Inlet Region Incorporated, an Alaska Native corporation established to benefit its 8,300 shareholders of predominately Athabascan and Southeast Indian, Inupiat and Yupik Eskimo and Aleut descent.


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