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‘Native-inspired’ food vendor at Alaska State Fair has deep roots in Nome

Meyer (left) shows off a seafood dish with singer-songwriter Hobo Jim. Photo courtesy Buffy Meyer
Meyer (left) shows off a seafood dish with singer-songwriter Hobo Jim. Photo courtesy Buffy Meyer

A company whose founders have roots in Nome is set to showcase Alaska Native-inspired dishes at the 2023 Alaska State Fair in Palmer.

According to Bering Straits Native Corporation, in 2014, Buffy Meyer and sister Esther Hershman submitted a proposal to the Alaska State Fair for a salmon bake booth. It was accepted and now, nine years later, Fish On Camp Grill is continuing to serve food at the fair.

“It’s now a go-to-destination at the fair for people to enjoy their seafood, and different items that we created,” Meyer said.

Meyer says, during the state fair, they will serve Eskimo pies and Eskimo ice cream, as well as fry bread with soft served ice cream topped with choice of Alaskan hand-crafted syrups.

“We recreated Eskimo ice cream, but not the traditional way with seal oil,” Meyer said. “Instead of seal oil, we added coconut oil, because we can’t sell seal oil legally. We did a coconut oil mixture with how we would do the traditional way.”

Meyer recently added a food trailer to do special events and catering. The menu includes fry bread, reindeer stew, seafood chowder, grilled halibut, salmon sliders, salmon brats, grilled king crab and Akutaq sundaes.

After Typhoon Merbok, Meyer organized a fundraising banquet for those impacted by the storm.

Meyer and Hershman grew up in Nome with their grandparents Ben and Esther Herman/Ningeulook, parents George and Bessie Meyer and 12 siblings, living a subsistence lifestyle.

The company, based in Wasilla, has been featured on the Food Network and will soon be featured in an episode on Vice TV.

The Alaska State Fair begins Aug. 18 and runs through Sept. 4 in Palmer.

Image at top: Buffy Meyer (right) shows off a seafood dish with folk singer-songwriter Hobo Jim in September 2021. Photo courtesy Buffy Meyer

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