Art, Food, and the Coastal Life in Halibut Cove, Alaska
This lovely cookbook features 60 delicious, easy-fixing recipes from The Saltry Restaurant in Halibut Cove, 30 of Marian Beck’s vibrant paintings, and wonderful petite stories accompanying each painting that describe life in Halibut Cove, where the locals fish out the front door, gather their own coal from the beach, and go clamming in the dark of night when winter’s minus tides fall.
Marian’s favorite recipes: Sable Fish Chowder, Smoked Salmon Yam Yums, Pesto Halibut, Shiitake Potato Cakes, Mom’s Rhubarb Custard Pie.
"Marian's cuisine is a rich and colorful canvas - swirls of local flavor against the lush backdrop of Kachemak Bay. I dream of dinner at the Saltry.
----Kirsten Dixon, food columnist, Alaska Dispatch
"Halibut Cove, Alaska: There's art in the life, and life in the art. In this lovely book, the Saltry's recipes, the colorful paintings by Marian Tillion Beck, and the descriptions of cove life past and present blend like the finest seafood ingredients into a true feast."
----Nancy Lord, author of Fishcamp and former Alaska Writer Laureate
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marian believes that her art is inextricably linked with
her environment—that the two things can not be
separated. She draws inspiration from living in
Halibut Cove. Working on fishing boats, riding horses, and island
life are all recurrent themes in her paintings. Marian explains
art as an expression of the sensuality of life—a catalyst for evoking
smells and emotions. She believes that life itself is art, an
organic sculpture shifting within the different frames of the
Marian Tillion was born in 1953 in Seldovia, Alaska. Her
parents, Clem and Diana, had recently settled in Halibut Cove,
and Marian was the first child born into the ghost town that
remained after the collapse of the herring fishery. Much of her
childhood was spent on the water. She started fishing with her
father when she was ten—after proving she was strong enough
by picking him up. Horses have always been a ruling passion in
Marian’s life. Her first horse was brought to the island on a barge
when she was twelve.
Marian attended college at Cal Poly University in San Luis
Obispo, California, earning a degree in animal science. To pay
for college she obtained her 100-ton marine license in 1974 and
began skippering commercial boats.
While at Cal Poly University, Marian also studied art and
later attended the Art Students League in New York City. Further
art education included studies in clay with potters Al Tennant,
Mark Ervice, and Alex Combs, and classes and workshops in
watercolor, silk screen, monotypes, batik, and painting from life.
Marian received her first Juror’s Choice Award for an opaque water color accepted into the 1985 juried art show at the Pratt
Museum in Homer. Since that first award in 1985 she has received
many Juror’s Choice Awards and Honorable Mentions, as well as
several State and Museum purchase awards. Her first solo exhibition
of size was at the Pratt Museum in 1990. Although in recent
years Marian has concentrated on painting, she has also created
clay sculpture and wearable art, and each year decorates 90 to 100
platters for her restaurant.
When Marian and her husband, Dave Beck, built the Saltry
in 1984, it provided another avenue for artistic expression. Marian
considers the Saltry a piece of functioning art—smooth
against rough, exquisite dining against a rugged backdrop. The
building itself is an artistic structure, housing handmade plates,
mosaic tables, and creatively presented food.