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In Anvik, It’s Seared Tuna, Wasabi, and Ginger: for Breakfast

photo and audio by Laureli Kinneen; text by David Dodman

Frying pans

Portable stoves and frying pans stand ready for preparing the five-course meal that's awarded to the musher who arrives first in Anvik.

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race offers a wide array of extraordinary experiences. Gourmet dining isn’t usually among them, with one exception: the first musher to arrive into the Anvik checkpoint – the first stopover on the Yukon River – receives a lavish five-course meal, provided by one of Iditarod’s major supporters, the Millennium Hotel in Anchorage. It’s one of Iditarod’s most covered trail awards.

In Anvik Thursday night, KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen caught up with the Millennium chef tasked with making this year’s 5-course feast.

Because of the fast pace of this year’s Iditarod, the first musher was, as of Thursday night, expected into Anvik Friday morning, rather than later in the day, and so a five-course dinner – with seared tuna, braised beef, wasabi, and ginger – was creatively re-imagined into a five-course breakfast:

Ultimately, the winner of the 5-course breakfast was Tok, Alaska’s Hugh Neff, who arrived into Anvik at 5:26am with 12 dogs. Stay tuned for his interview in Anvik.