Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Entries Welcome for 20th Annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation has announced deadlines for entries to and gala soirees for the 20th anniversary Alaska Symphony of Seafood new products contest, with events in February in Seattle and Anchorage.

The call for products applications are now available online at The deadline for entering the competition is Jan. 16. Considered products must be market ready (in commercial production) by the date of the competition. The Seattle reception is planned for Feb. 13, and contest winners will be announced at the Anchorage gala soiree on Feb. 23.

Overall grand prize, first, second and third place winners in the retail, food service and smoked products categories are kept confidential until Feb. 23.

Judges will be reviewing and tasting entries in Seattle, where chefs, manufacturers, buyers, sellers and media invited to the event will also get to vote on the “Seattle People’s Choice Award,” to be announced there. Guests at the Anchorage event will also get to vote, for the “Anchorage People’s Choice Award.”

First place winners in each category get complimentary booth space at the International Boston Seafood Show in March, plus free airfare to the event.

AFDF executive director Jim Browning says that over the years more than 350 new products have been featured at Alaska Symphony of Seafood events, and that winning products have accounted for millions of dollars in seafood sales.

Grand prize winners are often major seafood producers. The big surprise in the 2012 competition was the Tustumena Smokehouse on the Kenai Peninsula with “Kylee’s Alaskan Salmon Bacon. Also tops in their categories were Tracy’s Alaskan King Crab Bisque by Tracy’s King Crab Shack, Sweet Potato Crunch Alaska Pollock Sticks by American Pride Seafoods, and Aqua Cuisine’s Naturally Smoked Salmon Franks by Aqua Cuisine Inc. AFDF officials said all were a hit at the International Boston Seafood Show.

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