Alaska Symphony of Seafood seeks entries

A jar of fresh smoked sockeye bellies glistens in the summer sun before heading to the pressure cooker. Hidden under the layers of salmon are thin slices of serrano peppers for a little added bite. Salmon bellies are high in fat and oils, making this jar extra rich and considered by the makers as the coveted “Jar of Jars” for this season’s batch. Photo by Vivian Kennedy/The Cordova Times

Entries are being accepted through Oct. 15 for the 27th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood, which encourages development of value-added products made from Alaska seafood.

The event, which culminates with an open house and awards ceremony on Feb. 24 in Juneau, was inspired by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation as a way to encourage seafood product development.

Products may be entered into retail, foodservice, beyond the plate and beyond the egg categories. Smoked products may be entered into either retail or foodservice. The beyond the plate category must be product manufactured from seafood waste or byproducts of the primary processing. Beyond the egg competition is for products made from roe or uni. Uni is the Japanese name for the edible part of the sea urchin.

Any company, domestic or foreign, that produces commercially value-added products and by-products made from Alaska seafood is eligible to enter. Products must have been produced within the last two years, be market ready and fit into one of the four contest categories.

Detailed information and competition forms are online at afdf.org/symphony-of-seafood.

All entries accepted for the competition will be evaluated by a panel of judges on Nov. 20 in Seattle. The awards ceremony is set for Feb. 24 in Juneau, during the legislative reception. Both evenings will also include an open house during where participants will get to sample entries and vote for a People’s Choice award.

First place winners in each product category will receive free booth space at Seafood Expo North America on March 15-17 in Boston. The prize package also includes airfare for one company representative to attend the show, courtesy of Alaska Air Cargo.

AFDF was founded in 1978 to identify opportunities in the Alaska seafood industry and to develop sustainable outcomes for the benefit of the economy, environment and communities.

The annual Symphony of Seafood competition is funded by the industry and its supporters.

Major sponsors of this year’s competition include Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Alaska Air Cargo, Alaskan Brewing Co., Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, At-sea Processors Association, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp., city of Unalaska, Kwik’Pak Fisheries LLC, Marel, Northwest Fisheries Association, Trident Seafoods, UniSea and United Fishermen of Alaska.