Chef Joël Chenet
A few memorable times in my life I’ve had the honor of meeting a person who has truly mastered their craft. There are people who devote their life’s work to creating beauty out of some facet of the human experience. I have had the good fortune to cross paths with incredible writers, poets, song writers, painters, sculptors, and photographers. Whatever title these artists may hold, they embody and dedicate themselves to their creative expression with a discipline and spark that others lack.
Chef Joël Chenet is the first person I’ve met in my limited life experience that I would call a true “chef”. Chenet is a classically trained and devoted culinary master who has cooked for a French president, hunted and shared wine with Chef Jacques Pépin, and now lives in Alaska. Talking with Chef Chenet and having the chance to watch him work, peeling a few potatoes for him, and taking photographs while he was in Juneau last week was an incredible experience.
Please visit Laurie Constantino’s article about Chef Joël Chenet and Bristol Bay that include a few of the photographs I shot from that day. The most delicious part of Laurie Constantino’s article has to be Chef Chenet’s recipe for Salmon Rumaki, which I had the good fortune to eat. It was one of the most incredible and delightfully crafted pieces of food I’ve held in my grubby little hands.
Chef Chenet and his wife Martine, who also has a strong culinary background, own Mill Bay Coffee & Pastries in Kodiak, Alaska. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Kodiak, be sure to make a special visit to their coffee shop, although I’ve never been – I’m sure it’s amazing.
Special thanks to Laurie Constantino, Trout Unlimited, Lindsey Bloom, fine folks from Bristol Bay, student leaders, and of course Chef Joël Chenet for organizing and making such an incredible event possible in Juneau.