Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cold Smoked Sockeye Salmon is the Big Winner in Alaska Symphony of Seafood

For the second time in three years, a small, family owned fish smoking contestant from Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula has won the grand prize in the Alaska Symphony of Seafood. Back in 2012 it was Fred West of Tustumena Smoke House ( in Soldotna, with his Kylee’s Alaska Salmon Bacon. This year, in the 21st competition organized by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, it was Tilgner’s Ruby Red Ole World Scottish Style Cold Smoked Sockeye Salmon, a recipe developed by former Cordova family doctor Art Tilgner and just now getting its start as a commercial venture. Tilgner has been cold smoking sockeye salmon for more than three decades, along the way acquiring a host of aficionados who urged him to try marketing it commercially. Tilgner’s Specialized Smoked Seafood Products ( already has steady customers as far away as Brooklyn, NY.

At the Symphony’s Anchorage gala on Feb. 13, the Tilgner family won the Anchorage People’s Choice Award, first place for smoked products and the event’s grand prize too. First prize in the food service competition went to Trident Seafoods’ Trident Redi Grilled Pollock, while Ocean Beauty Seafoods won the retail competition with Ocean Beauty Salmon Jerky-Black Pepper.

Orca Bay Seafoods was the People’s Choice award winner at the Symphony’s Seattle gala with Cod Fillets with Sundried Tomato Pesto.

AquaCuisine placed second in smoke product competition with its Little Sammies in a Blanket and Ocean Beauty Seafoods earned third place with its Ocean Beauty Salmon Jerky-original flavor.

Second and third places in retail competition went to Trident Wild Alaskan Beer Battered Cod and Copper River Seafoods’ Fisherman’s Favorites: Wild Alaska Salmon Portions.

No second or third prizes were awarded in food service.

Awards to each of the first prize winners include air fare and booth space at the Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America show in Boston in March. The event, which attracts thousands of people, was formerly known as the International Boston Seafood Show.

Major sponsors for the 2014 Symphony included the Alaska Seafood Marketing Association, Northwest Fisheries Association, Marine Stewardship Council, At-Sea Processors Association, Marel, Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, Norton Sound Economic Development Association, Copper River Seafoods, Alaska Air Cargo, Trident Seafoods, the city of Unalaska, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Bowhead Transport, Kwik’Pak, and Alaska Brewing Company.

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