Top honors in the 2012 Alaska Symphony of Seafood went to a fish processor on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula whose winning entry of Alaska salmon bacon was born of a desire to help a grandchild suffering from food allergies.
Fred West of Tustumena Smokehouse in Soldotna was overcome with emotion when he learned on Feb. 11 that Kylee’s Alaska salmon bacon placed first in the smoke fish competition, and also earned him the grand prize. West said he developed the product because Kylee suffered an allergic reaction to beef, chicken and pork containing growth hormones and steroids. His product is made of all natural ingredients, no preservatives, is gluten free and contains no MSG or nitrates.
Other first place winners include Sweet Potato Crunch Alaska Pollock Sticks by American Pride Seafoods in the food service category, and AquaCuisine Naturally Smoked Salmon Frank by AquaCuisine in the retail category.
Tracy’s Alaskan King Crab Bisque, from Tracy’s Crab Shack in Juneau, won the People’s Choice awards in both Seattle and Anchorage.
First place winners from each category and the grand prize winner all receive booth space at the International Boston Seafood Show in March, as well as round trip airfare.
Since 1993, the Alaska Symphony of Seafood has celebrated creative and innovative ideas in the seafood industry, bringing together a host of new products before a panel of judges and the public.
The competition was created by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation to promote new product development for seafood harvested in Alaska waters, by encouraging participation and sponsorship from a variety of companies and organizations that together are building the future of the Alaska fishing industry.
The competition annually brings entries from major processors, as well as smaller, independent entrepreneurs.
AFDF was first chartered as a fisheries development corporation in 1978, after passage of the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries