S3. | E9. Within The Wild | Kachemak Bay, Alaska | Kirsten Dixon Offers Transformative Backcountry Adventures And Wild Alaskan Cuisine At Her Family’s Boutique Lodge
Play • 59 min

“So we have a lot of differences, our own individuality, but we enjoy the common ethos and mission that binds us. And that is to bring people into the natural world and have them experience why we live this way and what we find valuable in it. And we want to show people and share with them, and that binds us all together.”

We’re in great company with Kirsten Dixon, Founder and Head Chef of Within The Wild, a luxury Alaska adventure company and Tutka Bay Lodge, an award winning boutique lodge along the Gulf of Alaska. Over thirty years ago, Kirsten and her husband, Carl left their city life in Anchorage to live in the wilds of Alaska and to this day, they share their home with guests from all over the world, offering transformative adventures and cuisine within the natural world. 

Tutka Bay Lodge is a 35 acre property with a rustic luxury 6 cabin retreat that is the perfect jumping off point into a world of excursions into the Alaskan wilderness, from bear viewing to glacier trekking, kayaking to fishing, hiking the backcountry to helicopter adventures, tide pooling to bird watching, natural and cultural history lessons to daily culinary sessions.

In this episode, Kirsten paints a picture of the bounty of the land and sea that surrounds her, the full heart (and in the Dixon’s case, stomach) that comes with running a family business, and how their commitment to sustainability and future generations are instrumental in the preservation of this place she calls home. 

Top Takeaways

[1:40] Kirsten met her husband, Carl on her first day as an ICU nurse in Anchorage. A year later they quit their jobs, sold everything and moved to the remote wilderness of Alaska. Kirsten reminisces on the past 40 years, raising two daughters and running numerous lodges. 

[6:25] How a couple from Paris transitioned from being Kirsten’s guests to her great friends, inviting Kirsten to visit in Paris and attend Le Cordon Bleu where her culinary passion came to life. 

[13:45] Having an appreciation for the natural world can look and be experienced in different ways, as Kirsten prefers to take in the aesthetics while Carl can be found pursuing active adventures. 

[14:45] Dive into the Dixon’s universe they are creating with the help of 4 generations of their family in South Central Alaska - from their home base of Tutka Bay Lodge, to their quaint café La Baleine in their neighboring artistic town of Homer, to their newly acquired floral farm with 35 acres of peonies as far as the eye can see. 

[21:00] As Kirsten and Carl grow older, they have made it their life’s mission to do good for their future generations, preserving and protecting not only the land they call home, but their pocket of paradise that surrounds them.  

[24:00] The journey to Tutka Bay Lodge is part of the remote Alaskan wilderness experience, whether you arrive by seaplane or boat, and the adventure does not stop there…

[29:10] Guests can expect to dine in good company enjoying the creative expressions of numerous chefs who present wild Alaskan cuisine with Russian, Asian and native influences, foraged from the mountains, grown in the gardens and fished from the ocean. 

[39:15] When Kirsten first saw her neighbor’s old crabbing boat, it was an eyesore. Now with a little tender love and care - and good taste - it’s her favorite spot to bring guests.

[46:50] The future of Within The Wild focuses on younger generations, teaching local and visiting children how to cook cultural cuisine and to explore the old growth forests across the bay.

Notable Mentions

  • Pico Iyer Journeys
  • Be The Wild Non-Profit 
  • Living Within The Wild, Cookbook by Kirsten and Mandy Dixon

Visit For Yourself

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