If you’ve ever dreamed of baking with a view of the stunning Alaskan wilderness, this four-day retreat should be on your baker’s bucket list. We invite you to join our editor-in-chief, Brian Hart Hoffman, Erin Clarkson, the blogger behind Cloudy Kitchen, and mother-daughter chef team Kirsten and Mandy Dixon for a unique, customized baking experience at the Dixon family’s esteemed Tutka Bay Lodge. This retreat is limited to 12 participants, and space will be booked on a first-come–first-serve basis.
Tutka Bay Lodge sits at the entrance to a splendidly rugged seven-mile fjord at the southern end of Kachemak Bay, near Homer, Alaska. The Tutka Bay area offers rugged coastlines, deep fjords, dramatic mountains, quiet beaches, old-growth Sitka spruce forests, and amazing tidal fluctuations. It’s the perfect backdrop to refine your baking skills and learn more about local specialties like Russian salmon pies and why they are a part of Alaska’s culinary story.
- Hands-on baking, lodging, all meals at Tutka Bay Lodge and local restaurants included in itinerary, all guided activities and baking instruction, yoga and cooking classes, wine and cheese tastings, hot tub, sauna, and other lodge amenities.
- Round-trip airfare to Homer on Ravn Alaska.
- Round-trip boat transfer from Homer to Tutka Bay Lodge.
What’s Not Included
- Airfare to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
- Overnight accommodations in Anchorage on Tuesday, August 20.
- Massage therapy at Tutka Bay Lodge and fishing licenses.
Have a question about this baking retreat?
How rustic is Tutka Bay Lodge?
While Tutka Bay Lodge is located in a very secluded area surrounded by nature, we like to consider it “luxuriously rustic.” The cabins at Tutka Bay are beautiful, with porches overlooking the gorgeous Alaskan landscape. The resort also includes lavish amenities such as a hot tub overlooking the bay, sauna, massage therapy, boat tours, a world-renowned cooking school, wine tastings, and food by award-winning chefs. All of this luxury is a delightful juxtaposition to the breathtaking mountain and fjord views. There’s a reason why Goop named Tutka Bay Lodge “one of the most visually arresting spots in the US.” You can read the entire article here. Bake from Scratch has also featured a blog post boasting 10 Reasons Why You Should Join Us on Our Alaskan Baking Retreat.
I want to bring a travel companion, but they don’t want to take the baking classes. What can they do?
All meals and amenities at Tutka Bay Lodge are included on this trip. The only exceptions are massage therapy, fishing licenses, and guided tours such as bear watching. Your plus-one gets to join us on the day trip to Homer for tours, shopping, and lunch, or they can just relax at the lodge.
How should I spend my layover in Anchorage?
If you want to do a bakery tour, here’s a list of Mandy Dixon’s favorites in Anchorage. And we are here to help you customize your time there, depending on your interests. Brian Hart Hoffman, our editor-in-chief, lived in Anchorage for more than two years, so he has lots of exciting ideas to share with you.
Is this retreat better suited for professional or home bakers?
This retreat is for bakers of all skill types. Whether you’re an avid baker or just beginning your baking journey, you’ll enjoy brushing up on your skills and learning new tips and techniques from the award-winning team at Tutka Bay Lodge.
Who will I meet?
Brian Hart Hoffman, editor-in-chief of Bake from Scratch will be there, so you can expect lots of baking time with him. In addition, Erin Clarkson of the blog Cloudy Kitchen will be joining us on this trip. And mother-daughter team Kirsten and Mandy Dixon will lead our baking at Tutka Bay Lodge.
What’s Alaska like during the summer?
In Alaska, August temperatures are in the high 60s during the day and in the low 50s at night. There are nearly 19 hours of daylight at Tutka Bay during this time of year, so there’s plenty of time for baking, exploring, and relaxing.
When do I need to be in Anchorage to catch the group flight to Homer?
Our flight from Anchorage to Homer departs at 9:35 a.m. on August 21. We recommend arriving at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport at 8:00 a.m. to meet our group at the check-in counter.
What are we going to bake?
While in Alaska, we’re going to bake items inspired by the bounty of local produce, foraged wild berries and herbs, and fresh seafood. You’ll bake everything from Russian Salmon Pies to a sweet potato bread. Overall, there is a well-rounded curriculum of savory and sweet baked goods.
Will I have any free time?
You’ll have plenty of free time to relax and enjoy the incredible Tutka Bay Lodge.
About Kirsten and Mandy Dixon
Kirsten and Mandy Dixon, Within the Wild Adventure Company’s mother-daughter chef team, bring guests a unique culinary experience alongside Alaska’s outdoor adventures at their family’s backcountry lodges. Guests experience a sense of place through the flavors of seasonal and regional ingredients. As the owner and chef of La Baleine Café in Homer, Mandy continues that focus, serving up homemade dishes that feature the freshest local seafood and produce.
The Dixons also share Alaskan cuisine on a global stage as Culinary Ambassadors of the U.S. State Department American Chef Corps, featured chefs at the James Beard American Restaurant in the USA Pavilion at the Expo Milano in Italy, guest chefs aboard both Silversea Cruises and Holland America Line cruise ships, and featured chefs at the James Beard House in New York. Additionally, Mandy represented Alaska in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans in August 2014.
The Dixons coauthored the IACP Award-winning The Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook: Coastal Cuisine from the Wilds of Alaska in 2014, a follow-up to the second edition of The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook: Culinary Adventures in the Alaskan Wilderness, published in 2012. Both cookbooks feature favorite dishes served at each lodge while sharing stories of life in Alaska’s backcountry.
Kirsten has been cooking in the backcountry of Alaska for more than 30 years. She attended the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and earned a master’s degree in gastronomy from Adelaide University in Australia. Mandy grew up in her mother’s kitchen, going on to train at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, California, and the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California. She also worked as a pastry chef for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville, California, for several years before returning to the family business.
Within the Wild Adventure Company is a partnership, in existence since 1983, between Carl and Kirsten Dixon and their daughters, Carly and Mandy. The family owns and operates Winterlake Lodge, Tutka Bay Lodge, the Cooking School at Tutka Bay, home goods boutique RusticWild, and La Baleine Café, all in Southcentral Alaska.
Wednesday, August 21
From Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, you’ll fly with the group to Homer on Ravn Alaska Flight 7H0874 that departs at 9:35 a.m. When you arrive in Homer, you’ll meet Chef Mandy Dixon at her restaurant La Baleine Café for a quick welcome lunch before traveling by water taxi to Tutka Bay Lodge. On the 25-minute boat ride to the lodge, you’ll see mammals, seabirds, glaciers, volcanoes in the distance, and possibly whales, too. Settle into your cabin before an afternoon baking class on a renovated 1940s crabbing boat that’s now used as the lodge’s cooking school. Dinner will be served in the main lodge and followed by some free time to take a boat cruise, hike along the old-growth forest trail, or relax in the hot tub.
Thursday, August 22
Start your day with breakfast in the main lodge before a hike to forage for wild ingredients such as berries, herbs, and flowers. The berries will be used in a morning baking class to prepare a wild berry jam-filled yeasted bread. After lunch on the deck, join Brian for a workshop about how the pages of Bake from Scratch magazine are created, from recipe development and testing to photography. Next, head to a hands-on baking class using live fire. Dinner will be served in the main lodge, where you’ll have more time to chat with Brian over dessert about why he founded Bake from Scratch magazine.
Friday, August 23
Travel by boat to the nearby village of Homer for a visit with a local farmer to see beautiful Alaskan produce. For lunch, you’ll experience Two Sisters Bakery, where you can meet the owners during a baking demo and learn about their unique wood-fired stove. In addition, you’ll have plenty of free time to visit the local shops and take in the charm of Homer. An early evening boat ride will take you to Halibut Cove for dinner at The Saltry Restaurant, a restaurant set in a small, artistic enclave that features incredible views and is only accessible by boat. After heading back to Tutka Bay Lodge, you’ll enjoy a late-night cookie baking class with Brian and Mandy.
Saturday, August 24
After breakfast in the main lodge, we’ll travel back to Homer Airport for a group departure to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Ravn Alaska Flight 7H0875 that arrives at 11:30 a.m. (We advise guests to allow at least two hours between the arriving flight and departing flights back home.)
Tutka Bay Lodge Accommodations
The cozy guest cabins at Tutka Bay Lodge are “luxuriously rustic” and configured in unique ways. The cabins are double occupancy, so you will not have a private bathroom. Each cabin features the following amenities: Redflower amenities, a small living or sitting room, dresser, desk with chair, rocking chairs, luggage rack, sofa, robes, drinking water dispenser, and a private deck. The beds are fitted with high-quality linens, down duvet covers, and oversize pillows. Daily housekeeping and turn-down service is provided.
Half of the trip cost (50%) is due at booking. The second half of trip cost (50%) is due by June 20, 2019. Your reservation will be confirmed upon receipt of payment. We accept payment by American Express, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. Trip prices are in U.S. dollars.
Travel to/from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
Guests are responsible for getting themselves to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in time for a 9:35 a.m. departure on Ravn Alaska Flight 7H0874. (We advise everyone arrive in Anchorage on Tuesday, August 20, to ensure you can make the Ravn Alaska connection to Homer.) On Saturday, August 24, the group will return to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport at 11:30 a.m. on Ravn Alaska Flight 7H0875, in time for afternoon departures. We advise guests to allow at least two hours between the arriving flight and departing flights back home.
The price of the trip includes group air transit from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to Homer Airport on Ravn Alaska, round-trip transportation to Tutka Bay Lodge from Homer by water taxi, all meals, all guided activities and baking instruction, yoga and cooking classes, wine and cheese tastings, hot tub, sauna, and other lodge amenities. (Massage therapy and fishing licenses are not included.)
Since the trip is nonrefundable, we suggest buying trip insurance through a company like Travelex. You can also check with your credit card company to see if they provide travel insurance.
If you don’t purchase travel insurance, you agree to indemnify us against any charges that might otherwise be covered by your insurance. You further agree that we are not responsible for any costs of cancellation by you.
Your credit card will be charged by Hoffman Media, the parent company of Bake from Scratch.
We reserve the right to cancel the trip if fewer than 8 participants have signed up within 8 weeks prior to retreat date. If Bake from Scratch initiates the cancellation, we will refund all payments.