The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation announced the winners of the Alaska Symphony of Seafood during a Feb. 24 awards ceremony in Juneau, where contestants, industry representatives, media and public attendees gathered to celebrate and toast the winners. This event was co-hosted by United Fishermen of Alaska.
The Symphony is an annual contest for new value-added products made from Alaska seafood. The goal of the Alaska Symphony of Seafood is to increase the value of Alaska’s seafood by encouraging product development which diversifies markets, utilizes more of the resources and reduces fish waste. This year, two new categories were added, Salmon and Whitefish, as well as a new award, Bristol Bay Choice, in cooperation with the Symphony’s major sponsor and partner, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association.
This year’s first place winners in each category include:
- Retail: Echo Falls Wild Alaskan Smoked Salmon – Tapas Sliced – Mediterranean by Ocean Beauty Seafoods
- Foodservice: Alaska Grown Ribbon Kelp by Seagrove Kelp Company
- Beyond the Plate: Deep Blue Sea Bath Soak by Waterbody
- Salmon: Echo Falls Wild Alaskan Smoked Salmon – Tapas Sliced – Mediterranean by Ocean Beauty Seafoods
- Whitefish: Cracked Pepper, Wild Alaska Pollock Jerky – Neptune Snacks
- Bristol Bay Choice: Wild Caught Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon – Alaskan Leader Seafoods
The Grand Prize, awarded to the product that received the highest overall score, went to Deep Blue Sea Bath Soak by Waterbody.
The People’s Choice, awarded to the product with the most votes from attendees at the two open house events was awarded to:
- Seattle People’s Choice: Wild Caught Alaska Black Cod in Japanese Miso Marinade by Alaskan Leader Seafoods
- Juneau People’s Choice: Wild Caught Alaska Black Cod in Japanese Miso Marinade by Alaskan Leader Seafoods
The first-place winners from each category and the Grand Prize winner will receive booth space at the distinguished Seafood Expo North America in March, entry into the national new products competition, Seafood Excellence Award, as well as airfare to and from the show provided by our sponsor, Alaska Air Cargo.
Julie Decker, executive director of AFDF, explained a first for the Symphony.
“For the first time, we are especially proud to say that three of the Symphony’s first place winners are in the top ten finalists in the Seafood Excellence Awards, a national competition held by the Seafood Expo North America,” Decker said. “This demonstrates that the Alaska seafood industry is a national leader in product innovation and that the Alaska Symphony of Seafood is an excellent path to a national stage.”
“Considering the strong competitors this year, our team at Alaskan Leader Seafoods is humbled but elated to have won People’s Choice in both Seattle and Juneau, as well as the inaugural Bristol Bay Choice,” said Keith Singleton, president of Value-Added Division at Alaskan Leader Seafoods. “We are super excited to roll out these two new products in Boston. Thanks to Alaska Symphony of Seafood for launching us!”
Representatives from BBRSDA present the Bristol Bay Choice to Alaskan Leader Seafoods.
“I am so honored and grateful for Waterbody to win this award,” grand prize winner Angie Flickinger said. “I am excited to be part of a growing movement toward developing products, markets and economic opportunities around regenerative kelp farming in Alaska.”
The Alaska Symphony of Seafood kicked off on Nov. 17 in Seattle. The competition enlists chefs and industry experts to pick the best new seafood products each year. In Seattle, the judges tasted, deliberated, and scored all the products. Evaluation was based on the products’ packaging and presentation, overall eating experience, price and potential for commercial success. First place winners were announced on Nov. 18 during the Pacific Marine Expo. All winners, including Grand Prize, were announced on Feb. 24 in Juneau.
Second and third places in each category include:
- 2nd Place – SEA LEGS Redi Shred Surimi Seafood by Trident Seafoods
- 3rd Place – Nacho Cheese Dipper by Trident Seafoods
- 2nd Place – Spicy Arrabiata by Foraged & Found LLC
- 3rd Place – Alaskan BBQ Sauce by Barnacle Foods
Beyond the Plate:
- 2nd Place – AlaSkin Dog Treats by AlaSkins
- 3rd Place – Pure Catch Wild Alaska Salmon Oil by Trident Seafoods
- 2nd Place – Wild Caught Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon by Alaskan Leaders Seafoods
- 3rd Place – Ocean Beauty Brand Wild Alaska Cedar Wrapped Salmon – Citrus Dill by Ocean Beauty Seafoods
- 2nd Place – Food Truck Inspired Appetizers: Dill Pickle by Trident Seafoods
- 3rd Place – Wild Caught Alaska Black Cod in Japanese Miso Marinade by Alaskan Leader Seafoods
This years’ panel of judges included Monica George of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Jessica Hathaway of National Fishermen, Tomi Marsh of Fishes and Dishes Cookbook, BT Thompson of Rogge, Susan Chesney of National Fisherman, retired, Lilani Dunn of Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Chris Sannito of Alaska Sea Grant, Thomas Sheridan of Sheridan Consulting, Annie Thenell of Catering Consultant, and Cynthia Nims of Mon Appetit LLC.
AFDF major sponsors this year include Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Bristol Bay Regional Development Association, Alaska Air Cargo, At-Sea Processors Association, Marine Stewardship Council, Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, Marel, Kwik’Pak Fisheries LLC, Northwest Fisheries Association, Trident Seafoods, UniSea, and United Fishermen of Alaska.
For more information about this annual event and a complete list of this year’s winners, go to afdf.org/projects/current-projects/symphony-of-seafood.