Butter, sugar, flour, and eggs, and a host of secret additions, were the ingredients for the Alutiiq Museum’s first ever Kulich-off, a baking challenge featuring Easter bread. The contest was part of a grand reopening celebration held to mark the successful renovation of the museum’s gallery. More than 200 visitors enjoyed new exhibits, door prizes, and a taste of lovingly crafted Kulich at this April event.
Kulich is dense, sweet bread eaten by the Orthodox faithful to break the fasting of Lent. Chefs often bake the yeast-risen dough in coffee cans, creating tall loaves said to resemble the domed spires of Russian Orthodox churches.
Seven Kodiak contestants entered Kulich creations in the museum’s competition. A panel of community judges scored the entries in a blind review considering taste, aroma, appearance, texture, and creativity. Jolene Eluska took home the First Place prize for her tender, tasty loaf, but her recipe remains a secret! Kulich baking is an art passed down in families and like smoked salmon or perok (fish pie), many people have a special way of making this favorite food.
Jolene Eluska, First Place
Winner of an ERA Aviation round trip ticket from Kodiak to Anchorage
Miles / Wolkoff / Madrid girls, Second Place
Winner of leather petroglyph bag by Lazy M Leather
Damian Madrid (5 years old), Third Place
Winner of a Norman’s Fine Gifts Easter Basket