Hello! My name is Midgi Moore. I am a food writer/blogger and own Juneau Food Tours in Alaska. Juneau Food Tours (JFT) provides culinary experiences about Alaska’s food scene in downtown Juneau.
Our primary tour, Tour with Taste, highlights the growing and electric dining scene in Alaska’s capital city. We focus on Alaska’s wild and sustainable seafood and showcase it through tastings at Juneau’s top dining locations. The tour includes everything from casual food truck fare to fine dining with a wine pairing. Our newest tour, Juneau Bites & Booze, shares the emerging bar scene in our city. This option features locally brewed beers, craft cocktails, and a local favorite — an “eagle fart” — which is a shot with Bailey’s, Kahlua, and vodka. Food tastings feature local bar food and savory dishes such as fish tacos and the ever-popular “super tots”.
Visiting Alaska can often be a lifetime dream. People long to see bears, glaciers, and wildlife. While here, they also want to enjoy Alaskan food, particularly seafood. Food plays such a key component in a person’s Alaskan experience. It is our goal at JFT to provide lasting memories through sharing the food, history, and culture of the Last Frontier. Our mission is simple: To deliver tasty memories.
I began my career in food by writing a modest food blog, Meals with Midgi. This started as a fun option to share my Alaskan adventures, cooking tips, and recipes with my friends and family. The blog gathered a following and soon it was picked up by one of our local papers, Capital City Weekly.
My day job was managing the visitors centers and volunteer staff for Travel Juneau, the city’s destination marketing organization. After four years of employment there, I combined my knowledge of the industry and my passion for all things food and created Juneau Food Tours in Alaska. The rest, as they say, is delicious history.
Juneau is my home and I have worked diligently to tell the culinary story of Alaska and especially Juneau. We have chefs and food sources that are unequaled in other parts of the United States and that we offer a culinary experience that is unique. For example, Juneau has a chef that is a two-time James Beard nominee, as well as a chef that is Michelin star trained. Pretty impressive for a land-locked city with only 32,000 residents. What we bring to the table, if you’ll pardon the pun, is the inherent tie to the land, sea, and communities of our state. I firmly believe Alaska is a dining destination and worth traveling to for the food experience.
But I’ve found great food elsewhere too. First, I’d have to choose Chicago for food and drink. I love that city. I’ve been there several times and it is a place I would absolutely visit just for the dining experiences. I love how walkable and easily accessible the city is and how friendly everyone was to me. I’ve never had a terrible experience there.
Second, I’d say Savannah, Georgia. It’s close to my hometown, Hinesville, where I grew up. It holds the flavors of my people and embraces the gentility of the southern lifestyle. It’s a beautiful city full of art, history, and the food of my childhood. Yet I can’t overlook my Juneau, Alaska. Maybe I’m biased, but I have traveled extensively throughout the US and every time I come home, I am so impressed with the culinary experiences our restaurants and chefs deliver.
I joined the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) to network and learn from my peers. Food tourism as an industry is barely taking off and I want to be a part of that adventure. As a growing industry, it is essential we work together to help tell our stories and share information.
As a member of WFTA, I believe the Association will help me grow professionally to continue delivering tasty memories to JFT guests and providing food tours in Alaska. I recently completed the Certified Culinary Travel Professional training. I am very excited to have earned the certification and hope someday to be recognized as an Ambassador.
JFT hosted our first guest in May 2015. In August 2016, we celebrated our 1,000th guest. The growth of the business has been exponential and we are excited about the future. This year we launched our second tour option, Juneau Bites and Booze, and in 2018, we plan to partner with another tour operator in Juneau to offer a culinary adventure experience. It will blend the best of Alaska adventures with the best dining experiences. Our next milestone, which we hope to reach in 2019, will be to open a second location in Alaska.
I strongly encourage memberships in trade organizations. WFTA offers the opportunity to network and collaborate with industry colleagues and leaders. Our industry is relatively young when one considers how many people think about what they will eat when they travel. The food tour industry is less than 20 years old, yet sharing a meal with someone goes back eons. Being a part of a unified voice helps us tell our story together. A collective voice is an effective voice.