The Alaska Symphony of Seafood competition is back and the call is out for entrees.

The contest has showcased new products since 1994 but was canceled last year due to the pandemic The Symphony is hosted by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation. Julie Decker is AFDF director:

“It really does several things. It encourages value added seafood production, and then it promotes high quality products made of Alaska seafood. So through the contest we get to evaluate new products that are coming into the marketplace and determine which ones are the best in certain categories. And then we help promote those across the country and the world. So we’re hoping to help Alaska seafood stand out on store shelves, and really show what some of the high quality products are coming out of Alaska. We can see how worthwhile it is because industry continues to sponsor it and support it year after year. And they just know the value to their businesses. And there isn’t anything else like this for Alaska seafood.”  

An expert panel will judge all the market-ready products in Seattle on November 17 in several categories, including a few new ones.

“This year we’re going to have some of our traditional categories which are retail, food service, and Beyond the Plate, which is basically sort of non-edible products, maybe made with byproducts or fish wastes, or things of that nature. But the two new categories are going to be salmon and whitefish. You can also enter in more than one category if you fit the definitions.”

First place winners and the Seattle’s People Choice will be announced at an open house to kick off Pacific Marine Expo.

All others, including the Grand Prize winner, are kept under wraps until a February bash in Juneau where another People’s Choice award will be announced, along with a new Bristol Bay Choice for a sockeye salmon entry.

 All top winners get booth space and photo shoots at the big Seafood Expo North America in Boston in March where their products will compete nationally. Decker says the Symphony also will work with retail partners to feature the winning products.

The Alaska seafood competition levels the playing field between major seafood producers and the small mom and pop’s. Bullwhip Hot Sauce by Barnacle Foods of Juneau, for example, was the most recent triple winner at retail, the Juneau People’s Choice and the overall Grand Prize.

Deadline to enter is October 4th.

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