A good deal of business news during the COVID-19 pandemic has been grim. But happily, in Kodiak, there is a glowing exception to the rule.
Diane Million’s Million Recipes food truck has finally opened for business after a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday afternoon officiated by Sarah Phillips of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce.
“On behalf of the entire Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, we would like to congratulate Diane Million on her opening of Million Recipes,” Philips said. “We’ve had the privilege of watching her business grow from an idea to complete fruition. Your commitment to fulfilling a longtime dream by offering cuisine from the Kodiak archipelago is paramount in the building of Kodiak’s economy and creating our sustainable future. You are an inspiration Diane. The chamber is here to support you in your new venture. We wish you luck and great success.”
Complete with pinatas, tokens for the Kodiak Island Brewery, and a socially distanced outdoor crowd, Million spoke tearfully to an audience of supporters and hungry patrons.
“Thank you everyone. Really from the bottom of my heart. I can’t wait to make this what I want it to be which is where everything we provide out here at least 80% is from Kodiak, like Sitkinak Farms, Heritage farms, Bounty Farms, BrightBox, Paulette out in the flats with her chickens. Just… I’m so excited,” Million said. “The brewery- I can’t wait- Friday we’re gonna have brats… gonna be soaked in Wingnut Brown. And they’re gonna have Shelikof Stout beer mustard with some kraut. I am so excited. I can’t thank everyone who has been supportive over the last five years and listened to me talk about my food truck. And now it’s finally here.”
For Million, this has been a lifetime goal finally realized.
“This has been a 20-year dream, a five-year dedication and realization. And now it’s here,” Million said.
Million says this isn’t going to be like any other culinary option on Kodiak. She’s dead set on including as much local flavor as possible.
“My goal is to utilize all of the local economy and the businesses here. Because we can sustain ourselves in Kodiak, at least 80%. Beef from Sitkinak Farms. Chicken from Paulette out in the flats, goat dairy products, eggs, and pork from Heritage Farms over by the mission. Bounty Farms will provide produce, Kenoyer Farms, the Kodiak Harvest Co-op,” Million said. “We’re working with both co-ops, we’re trying to get an animal processing plant. That’s the last step. Once we have the processing plant, then we’ll be able to… keep it in state. We’re good to go. We’ll have USDA inspected Kodiak products on the truck.”
And what will she be cooking up with all of these local ingredients?
“Well, right now we have a limited menu. Because we’re just starting up- we have Philly style cheese steaks, I’m from Delaware, so I know what they should taste like. We have Cubanos, which are just fantastic. Two types of pork and a dill pickle in the middle. You can’t beat that. Shrimp po boys because who doesn’t love some deep fried shrimp? With slaw, we have French fries,” Million said. “We also have potato salad, coleslaw and deviled eggs because you can’t get that on this island all that often. And then going forward we’ll have brewery bites, like pretzel bites with homemade mustard made from the Shelikof Stout or one of the other dark beers that Ben has on tap at Kodiak Island Brewing Company. And I don’t know- it’s all made with love!”
The food truck is presently tucked away in the parking lot of the Kodiak Island Brewery. Million intends to keep it there.
“I think it’s an excellent partnership with the brewery. I mean, where else can you almost put a restaurant at the Y? We’re the kitchen and Ben’s the brick and mortar and it’s a… it’s perfect. And after working with him for five and a half years? There’s no one else I’d rather partner with.”
When asked what her hours of operation were, Million replied; “11-8 or until sold out.”