Though Beau Schooler will head to Louisiana as a competitor, promoting Alaska foods with the dish he prepares, the Great American Seafood Cook-Off also serves as an opportunity to meet other chefs to build relationships and potentially learn new things.
Schooler has studied in Italy in the past and most recently was invited to serve as a guest Chef at the Caputo Brothers Creamery in Pennsylvania.
He reached out to a salumeria inquiring after an internship — another project is the deli Panhandle Provisions, which cures its own meats — and though they don’t have a formal internship program, they’re inviting him to come learn.
Schooler values the connections made through these exchanges.
It’s not all Schooler traveling, either. He’s working on arranging guest chef dinners here in Juneau, talking with chefs around the US and Canada.
The first of these dinners set in stone so far is July 30 at the Rookery. And if tickets sell out too fast, there should be another on Aug. 22, which may feature reindeer as a key ingredient.