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Laura Cole

Laura Cole is a Michigan native who found her culinary passion when she moved to Alaska after graduating college. There, Cole worked in the kitchen of a lodge at Denali National Park, and fell in love with the warm, welcoming space where creative energy, humor and satisfying hard work come together to nurture and nourish.  

Cole went on to get a degree from the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, a master certificate from the Ritz Escoffier L’Ecole de Gastronome in Paris, and experiences in kitchens around the world, including Antarctica where she was the head chef at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station.  

After returning to Alaska, Cole worked with her husband and friends to fulfill her dream of owning her own restaurant. In 2005, she opened 229 Parks Restaurant and Tavern at the entrance to Denali National Park. Cole strives to highlight Alaska in all her creations and menus, and has developed relationships with Alaska’s small-scale farmers, ranchers, fishermen and women, beekeepers and an assortment of other artisans.  

Cole has twice been nominated for Best Chef, Northwest by the James Beard Foundation and has participated on Bravo’s “Top Chef.”