Peter Pan Seafoods’ Wild Caught Alaska Salmon with Ribbon Kelp Chimichurri took top honors when the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation announced winners of the Alaska Symphony of Seafood Feb. 24 in Juneau.

Contestants, industry representatives, the Alaska Legislature, news media and other special guests gathered to celebrate and toast the winners at the event, co-hosted by United Fishermen of Alaska with record-setting attendance.

Since 1994 AFDF has organized the Symphony, a competition for new commercial-ready, value-added products made from Alaska seafood, encouraging companies to invest in product development and promote those new products to help diversify markets, utilize more the of the resource and create long-term value. 

Product development is critically important to the entire industry and the fishing communities that depend on it. Innovative new products position the industry to remain competitive and relevant to consumers. Previous winners and entrants have leveraged the Symphony platform and continue to see increased sales and market exposure of their products.

Awards went to first, second and third place in the categories of Retail, Foodservice, and Beyond the Plate. Additionally, special awards for Whitefish Choice, Salmon Choice, Bristol Bay Choice, Seattle People’s Choice and Juneau People’s Choice.

Grand Prize:

Wild Caught Alaska Salmon with Ribbon Kelp Chimichurri, by Peter Pan Seafood


1st Place - Wild Caught Alaska Salmon with Ribbon Kelp Chimichurri, by Peter Pan Seafood 2nd Place - Kelp Chili Crisp, by Barnacle Foods

3rd Place (tie) – CBD Kelp Brownies, by Kelptastic Farms

3rd Place (tie) - Wild Salmon Chowder, by Thunder’s Catch


1st Place – Ocean Beauty Grill House Burger, by Ocean Beauty Seafoods 2nd Place - Wild Alaska Cod Burgers, by Alaskan Leader Seafoods

3rd Place - Takoyaki Style Wild Alaska Pollock Bites, by Trident Seafoods

Beyond the Plate:

1st Place - Pure Catch Wild Alaska Omega-3 Triple Strength, by Trident Seafoods

2nd Place - Alaska Naturals 100% Wild-Caught Alaska Pollock Jerky Dog Treats, by Trident Seafoods

White Fish Choice:

Wild Caught Crispy Beer Battered Cod, by Alaskan Leader Seafoods

Salmon Choice:

Wild Caught Alaska Salmon with Ribbon Kelp Chimichurri, by Peter Pan Seafood

Bristol Bay Choice:

Wild Salmon Chowder, by Thunder’s Catch

Seattle People’s Choice:

Kelp Chili Crisp, by Barnacle Foods

Juneau People’s Choice:

Wild Salmon Chowder, by Thunder’s Catch

Mike De Caro of Peter Pan Seafood called it “beginner’s luck” when asked how he developed their triple-winning new product, Wild Caught Alaska Salmon with Ribbon Kelp Chimichurri.

“This is Peter Pan Seafood’s first time at developing value-added products,” said De Caro. “One key – stick to only a few natural ingredients.”

De Caro took the stage to accept an award presented by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, celebrating their winning sockeye salmon and ribbon kelp combo. This also marks the first time that a major Alaska salmon processing company has integrated Alaska kelp into a new product.

The Wild Salmon Chowder by Thunder's Catch also won multiple awards. Made by two Bristol Bay fishermen, Kara Berlin and Taran White, the chowder is preservative-free, shelf-stable and made with Bristol Bay sockeye and “real whole foods and ingredients one could find in their own kitchen,” said Berlin. The eye-catching packaging and appealing smell and taste won Thunder’s Catch the Bristol Bay Choice and Juneau People’s Choice.

“We’re very grateful, and look forward to carrying this momentum to connect with more retailers and direct consumers,” said White. “We’re catching and creating good, wild food for good, wild people,” said Berlin.

The winner of the Foodservice category, Ocean Beauty Gill House Burger, has a surprisingly meaty flavor for a burger made with wild Alaska salmon. These burgers also include non-GMO, nutrient-rich vegetable protein, and are ready to grill, fry or cook in the oven. These burgers are likely to also be a winner for family dinners, sports events and summer cook-outs.

The first-place winners of each category and the Grand Prize winner receive booth space at the distinguished Seafood Expo North America (SENA) in March, airfare to and from the show provided by our sponsor, Alaska Air Cargo, entry into the SENA new products contest, the Seafood Excellence Awards, as well as other promotional benefits. 

Newly for this year, all entrants who are interested will also receive initial consulting services with the AFDF Startup Accelerator (formerly the Alaska Ocean Cluster), which could also lead to incorporation into their portfolio of startups. The AFDF Startup Accelerator can help support commercial growth in new companies.

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