When Kirsten and Carl Dixon, owners of Within the Wild adventure lodges, bought Tutka Bay Lodge, they were surprised to find that it came complete with an old boat. A very old boat. The Widgeon II carried troops during World War II. Now? The boat was grounded, with a rope humorously lassoed around a nearby tree. Rope or not, it wasn’t going anywhere. Kirsten, a chef who puts a worldly spin on Alaskan ingredients, decided the Widgeon II’s next life would be as a cooking school. Open to lodge guests and day-trippers who are ferried to class via water taxi from the town of Homer, the school offers lessons in how to cook reindeer, perhaps, or, if you’re lucky, Spanish-influenced tomato bread soup with salmon bacon.