Heidi Drygas


Heidi was born and raised in Fairbanks, and grew up in and around the waters of the Chena River. She graduated with a degree in History from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and received her law degree from Willamette University. A lawyer by day and self-taught home cook at night, she is passionate about cooking and creating tasty, uncomplicated food. She is also a firm believer in buying local produce and products whenever possible, and is an avid fisherwoman. She currently lives in Anchorage with her trusty terrier, Milo.


One thing Juneau does well is seafood. In my opinion, Alaska’s ocean bounty is second to none. As I was browsing the offerings at a fantastic local shop, Jerry’s Meats and Seafoods, I came across a package of smoked Alaska black cod. While wild Alaska salmon hogs most of the spotlight (and justifiably so), black cod is the unsung hero of Alaskan seafood. Rich, meaty, and incredibly tasty, it might actually be my favorite Alaskan fish. Read more

Back to the food. I've lost track of how many friends are resolving to drop a few pounds this year. A little less candy, a few more carrots. In that spirit, this dish of roasted cauliflower and broccoli, topped with crunchy, lemony, cheesy panko breadcrumbs is about as close as you get to wanting seconds when it comes to veggies. Read more

The Best.  It's a bold statement, right?  To say something is the BEST you've ever tasted.  People throw the phrase around too loosely and apply it to things that simply don't deserve such high praise.  "This is the best corn dog I have EVER tasted!" "Have you tried this burger! Best burger ever!" "OMG, this cheese may be the BEST CHEESE EVER."  And we all know that the chances of that corn dog, burger, or piece of cheese being the BEST EVER are pretty slim. Read more

bean-and-ham-1 Fall in Alaska is that glorious 3 days of the year where the leaves turn beautiful shades of yellow and orange, there's a distinct smell of sour cranberries and wood smoke lingering in the air, and the Chugach mountains look like they're on fire with all the brilliant red of the dwarf birch and blueberry bushes.

wild-alaska-blueberry-cornm I have a massive issue when it comes to foraging. Some would call it my gift. Others (like my berry-picking friends) would call it my curse. You see, deep in the incomprehensible double-helix thingy of my DNA structure, I have an unmistakable gene for hunting and gathering. I love it.

Heidi Drygas Herb Salmon8 Deciding what to make for Solstice dinner was easy. During spring and early summer, us Alaskans engage in a traditional pastime known generally as "Cleaning Out the Freezer". See the recipe.

heidi drygas devils club 6 We all have our quirks. Some wear an apron while they cook. Some still drink Shirley Temples when they're 36. One quirk I embrace: I'm a forager, and I embrace my inner hunter & gatherer. See the recipe.

Heidi Drygas Lentils 1 I've been keeping my Alaskan Springtime blues at bay by cooking up a storm in my kitchen! Short ribs, pasta, spring salads, soups...anything to keep the dreary brown grass on my lawn out of sight and out of mind. Summer can't come soon enough! I devoured this lovely little lentil salad soon after I took these pictures. See the recipe.

heidi drygas chilaquiles 1 There is no limit to my love of the food and flavors of Mexico. All the spicy, fragrant chiles, simmering sauces, creamy refried beans, fresh lime and cilantro...Mexican is my ultimate comfort food. See the recipe.

heidi drygas sprouts 1 My love for Brussels sprouts extends far and deep, years before they became a fad at hip eateries in Chicago and San Francisco. It all goes back to a time when the idea finding a fresh Brussels sprouts at the grocery store in Fairbanks was unthinkable, and so ours came to the dinner table via frozen baggies from the super market. It all goes back to a time when Holly and I were obsessed with Barbies. Read more.

heidi drygas muffins 1 For Christmas this year, my adorable nieces in Fairbanks gave me the holiday death plague. Complete with hacking cough, sore throat, congestion...you get the idea. I feel like death warmed over. In my delirious, sick-y state I decided I needed to bake something. I know, I know. I'm a terrible baker. See the recipe.

Heidi Drygas Turkey 1 Ah, Thanksgiving. A time for friends and family to gather around the table in love and friendship, so that we may all sit down, say grace, and stuff our faces full of delicious foods drenched in butter and cream. At this point, what I really should tell you about is this delectable little recipe I am sharing with you for your holiday table. But what I really want to tell you about is how I'm getting a turkey on a plane for Thanksgiving. Read more.

Heidi-Drygas-Shrimp-Excerpt There comes a time in every woman's life when her grit, determination, and willpower are put to the test. A time when resolve and fortitude are challenged in a epic battle of skill, creativity, and knowledge. Of course, I'm talking about the Alaska Sustainable Seafood Cookoff! The Challenge: Four duos battle it out in one hour to produce the best seafood dish for 5 local foodie judges. Click for the story and recipe.

Heidi Drygas Salmon Chimichurri 1 I'm a bit salmon obsessed of late, and for good reason.  You see, after an extremely successful fishing trip in Valdez's Prince William Sound, I'm a bit salmon-heavy at my house.  And frankly, that's putting it lightly. It comes down to this: if I don't eat all this salmon, I can't fit anything else in my freezer. See the recipe.

Heidi Drygas Salmon Quiche 1 There comes a time in every woman's life where they sort of just hit a wall. For me, it happened this week. The wall came in the form of: several bills from house projects completed over the summer, an unexpected brake replacement on my Jeep, a hot water heater on the fritz, and just for good measure, a boiler that decided to take a little break. Read more.

heidi drygas skillet chicken There is something in your kitchen that you've been neglecting. Perhaps you received it as a wedding present. Or its been passed down to you from your grandmother's grandmother's grandmother. Or maybe you've been living without one all this time. The cast iron skillet. See the recipe.

Heidi Drygas Squash Mac 1 I love this dish. But I seriously fretted about what to call it. Because it's a lighter mac & cheese, but calling it "light mac & cheese" is such a culinary turnoff. Might as well tell folks to chew on some saw dust, eh? See the recipe.

heididrygas-kale5 Here's what I think. When you make something this healthy that tastes this good, it is your responsibility as a human being to share it with the world. And by world, I really mean with all my girlfriends. Because who needs a tofu popscicle or dairy-free/wheat-free/vegan/bilingual/yoga-enthusiast green smoothie when you can eat something that tastes DELICIOUS and probably cures cancer at the same time?! See the recipe.

heidi3 I love ALL Alaskan seafood. Halibut, cod, scallops, spot prawns, king crab...the list goes on. It is THE BEST in the world. But for my money, nothing compares to delicious, healthy, and sustainable wild Alaska salmon. Some of my favorite childhood memories involved a boat, a river, and a fishing pole with a fighting salmon at the other end of the line. See the recipe.

Heidi Drygas Huevos Rancheros 1 In Alaska, the winter is cold and dark. It's as certain as death and taxes. I decided that this year, I needed to ring in the New Year with a little sunshine. And maybe a pool, with one of those umbrella drinks. I crashed my parents' vacation. See the recipe.