In 2014, BSNC shareholder Buffy Meyer and her sister Esther Hershman submitted a proposal to the Alaska State Fair (ASF) for a salmon bake booth. To their surprise, it was accepted. Nine years later, Fish On Camp Grill (FOCG) has boomed with notoriety. The popular grill has been featured in two episodes on the Food Network and will soon be featured in an episode on Vice TV. FOCG also recently added a fully equipped food trailer to do special events and catering.
FOCG’s menu items include Alaska Native-inspired dishes like fry bread, reindeer stew, seafood chowder, grilled halibut, salmon sliders, salmon brats, grilled king crab and Akutaq sundaes. The seafood comes from local suppliers including Norton Sound Seafood Products and Kwik’Pak Fisheries. The produce is certified Alaska Grown. For the upcoming 2023 Alaska State Fair, FOCG will be adding a separate booth showcasing Eskimo Pies and Eskimo Ice Cream; fry bread with soft served ice cream and topped with choice of Alaskan hand-crafted syrups including blueberry, cloud berry, lingonberry, rhubarb, raspberry and crab apple pie.
FOCG is located at The Gathering Place, an area of the state fairgrounds dedicated to sharing, experiencing and celebrating Alaska’s rich Native cultures. Each year, FOCG hosts ulu salmon fileting demonstrations that always draw a crowd. Last year, FOCG sponsored a seal butchering demonstration and fried up the meat, adding their special blend of, “It’s On Seasoning” that they ship worldwide.
Last fall, after Typhoon Merbok, Meyer organized a fundraising banquet at the Gathering Place to help support those impacted by the severe storm. The banquet was made possible by a generous donation from FOCG alongside contributions made by local vendors and suppliers.
Meyer and Hershman grew up in Nome with their grandparents Ben and Esther Herman/Ningeulook, parents George and Bessie Meyer and 12 siblings, living the subsistence lifestyle. While Hershman has moved on from FOCG, Meyer has continued the grill and is also the owner of Inupiat Charms; you can find her at AFN and Fur Rondy showcasing her beautiful designs made from seal and sea otter skins. In her day job, Meyer is the CEO of Inupiaq Alaska Group, LLC, providing marine mammal research for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For more information about Fish On Camp Grill, go to fishoncampgrill.com or check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/fishoncampgrill.