Tucked just a quick ten-minute boat ride away from Sitka’s city hub, you’ll find Talon Lodge & Spa, a private resort island nestled among the smaller islands skirting Baranof Island. Talon isn’t your ordinary Alaska fishing lodge – it’s also a haven for foodies, boasting a robust culinary scene, perfectly complementing your all-inclusive Alaska fishing adventure.

Photo: Enjoying a clear evening at the show kitchen on Talon’s deck

Back in 2003, Phil and his wife Gwen discovered an 8-acre private island, what was then just a house and a few cabins. With passion and hard work, they transformed it into the Talon Lodge & Spa in just one year, opening its doors for their first guests in 2004. Phil and Gwen bring a wealth of luxury hospitality experience to the table, infusing every corner of the lodge with their knowledge and expertise.

Talon takes great pride in crafting a unique all-inclusive lodge experience. “Everything we do, we try to do it differently,” Phil shares, reflecting their commitment to innovation. From their delicious cuisine to their luxurious accommodations, to their fishing styles, Talon is nothing short of a one-of-a-kind experience.

Photo: Chef preparing oysters and Dungeness crab


The Experience

At Talon, you’re not just guests, you’re family. Over the course of your stay, you’re guaranteed to leave with new friends that you’ve made over the course of your experience. “Some of our guests have made life-long friends that now travel the world together and return to Talon year after year.” Says Phil with a smile. With the lodge accommodating a maximum of 24 guests, you’ll enjoy an intimate atmosphere that goes beyond just being remote.

When you book your stay, your culinary adventure is part of the experience! Every meal is included, ensuring a delightful variety for breakfast, lunch, appetizer hour, and dinner each day. Take in the stunning views of Mount Edgecumbe and the Sitka Sound from their dining area, where floor-to-ceiling windows frame your experience, creating the perfect viewpoint for catching a legendary Sitka sunset.

Photo: Views of Sitka Sound from the indoor dining area and deck


Talon’s commitment to excellence shines through in their staffing approach, maintaining a staff-to-guest ratio that exceeds 1:1. Their permanent culinary team includes 4 chefs: the Executive Chef, Sous/Presentation Chef, Pastry Chef, and Prep Chef. With these culinary experts crafting your meals, you’ll leave with happy hearts and fulfilled appetites, ready to take on the day.


Visiting Chef Series

Talon’s roster of four permanent chefs is just the beginning. For those seeking an extraordinary culinary adventure, plan your trip around their Visiting Chef Series. The Visiting Chef Series began in 2005, and through their history of hospitality knowledge, Phil and Gwen have made connections with influential chefs from all over the country. These connections help them to curate a healthy rotation of chefs through their visiting series to enhance Talon’s culinary adventure year after year.

Photo: Fresh-plated Alaska snow crab delivered to eager guests

Visitors securing dates over their Visiting Chef Series can expect to savor a symphony of distinctive flavors and dishes. Each visiting chef brings their own personal touch with hand-crafted creations that promise to excite your taste buds and elevate your all-inclusive experience. Check out the chefs Talon has in store for the 2024 season, and watch their website to keep up-to-date on the latest plans for 2025 and beyond.

  • Matt Carter | Visiting June 2nd – 6th & June 6th – 10th
    • Named a top local chef in the Scottsdale/Phoenix region, this chef owns four popular Phoenix restaurants. His cooking is inspired by French cuisine, after he spent years in France studying the arts of the European cuisine.
  • Joshua Drage | Visiting July 4th – 8th & July 8th – 10th
    •  Executive Chef of The Ranch in Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana, the world’s only Forbes Travel Guide 5 Star guest ranch. Chef Drage is celebrated for creating unique, upscale Montana ranch cuisine.
  • Dom Ruggiero | Visiting July 20th – 24th & July 24th – 28th
    • Owner of Cast Iron Concepts, an Arizona-based hospitality group managing three restaurants, all of which have been named in numerous articles listing the best restaurants in Phoenix. Guy Fieri recently featured one of Chef Ruggiero’s restaurants on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!
  • Sam Choy | Visiting August 17th – 21st & August 21st – 25th
    • Celebrity chef Sam Choy and author of 16 cookbooks has been a guest star on multiple different food network shows, and even hosting his own YouTube series, ‘Sam Choy’s IN THE KITCHEN’. Just imagine what the “godfather-of-poke” can do with our fresh Alaska seafood!

Photo: Executive Chef Jack Quijada, Sous Chef Andrew Albert, and Sam Choy preparing dinner in the kitchen


Visiting Winemaker Series

Talon goes above and beyond with their offerings outside of the permanent and visiting chefs. In addition to the four guest chefs that visit each year, four visiting winemakers also make their way to Sitka each season, excited to add a perfectly paired glass of wine to your home-cooked meal. If you’re a wine aficionado or you can’t make it for a visiting chef date, consider booking your trip during one of their visiting winemaker events. Here’s the lineup for the 2024 season:

  • Jack Galante | Visiting May 25th – 29th & May 29th – June 2nd
    • Drawing inspiration from the untamed spirit of the wild west, Galante Vineyards are a historical legacy in the wine industry and hailed as one of Monterey County, California’s premier wine producers.
  • Duffy Keys | Visiting June 10th – 14th
    • Duffy Keys is a co-owner of B Cellars, where he works with his partner, Jim Borsack to create a wine-tasting and food-pairing combo experience. Focused on the balance of wine and food, Keys will bring a wealth of knowledge on the compliments of food and spirits.

Photo: Dinner paired with B Cellars’ Blend 24 wine

  • Brooks Painter | Visiting July 12th – 16th & July 16th – 20th
    • Brooks Painter is a widely-known winemaker, winning the Winemaker of the Year award in the American Fine Wine competition in 2014. Currently, he supervises over 300 acres of vineyards in wine country, Napa, California.
  • Nils Venge | Visiting August 5th – 9th
    • Nils Venge is regarded as a pioneer of the Napa Valley wine industry. His name grew worldwide after he was awarded a 100-point wine score on his 1985 vintage of Reserve Cabernet, the first-ever given to an American wine.

Photo: Guest enjoying a beautiful Sitka sunset at the beach bar

It’s also worth noting that the Talon Beach Bar was recognized as one of the best beach bars in America by Yahoo! News, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Thrillist, VinePair, The Daily Meal, and Bustle! Check out their website for up-to-date information on future visiting winemakers.


More About Talon

Talon emerges as more than just an Alaska fishing lodge; it epitomizes a harmonious blend of culinary excellence, hospitality, and natural beauty. Founded on passion and perseverance, Phil and Gwen’s vision has transformed an 8-acre private island into a haven where guests become family. Information about upcoming seasons, future visiting chef and winemaker series, and booking can be found at talonlodge.com.

Photo: Aerial shot of Talon Lodge and the private island