Meet Steven Johnson, Arctic cook baker at Ilisagvik College in Barrow, Alaska

Video Shot in: 2009

Stephen Johnson, a cook and baker at Ilisagvik College in Barrow, shares his journey from Oregon to Alaska, where he has been working since 1980. Starting his culinary career in 1967, Stephen pursued college education and eventually moved to Alaska in 1978, where he and his wife managed various hospitality services. In Anchorage, he worked for Simon and Seafort’s before transitioning to work related to the pipeline, particularly in seismic exploration for oil and seasonal work on offshore vessels. Stephen’s work took him across the tundra and included feeding crews in challenging environments. He later worked on oil rigs and experienced significant changes in communication over the years, from radio phones to more advanced technologies. Reflecting on his career, Stephen mentions working in isolated locations where air surveillance and supply flights were the main connections to the outside world. His narrative provides a glimpse into the demanding and dynamic life of culinary professionals in remote and challenging Arctic environments.