Supplier News

Prized New Zealand Salmon Producer, Ora King, Announces Six Chef Semi-Finalists in North America for its 2019 Ora King Awards

Heralded As “The Wagyu of Salmon,” Ora King’s 7th Annual International Competition Gives Chefs the Chance to Win An Expenses-Paid Culinary Trip to New Zealand

Sustainability is the Theme of the 2019 Awards

Nelson, New Zealand (Monday, August 12, 2019) -- Ōra King, the New Zealand-based producer of the world’s most highly-regarded salmon, today announces six chef semi-finalists in North America for its 2019 Ora King Awards: Mia Li (Lenoir), Robert Sisca (Bistro du Midi), Nathan Gould (O Ya), Andrew Hunter (Restaurant at the Rabbit Hill Inn), Vincenzo Loseto (Eleven Madison Park), Marc Krampe (Social Southern Table & Bar). These six chefs will compete for three finalist spots for North America and will join finalists from Japan, Australia, and New Zealand for a four-day, all-expenses paid celebration in the Nelson-Marlborough region of NZ from October 13-17, 2019.

In its 7th year, the Ora King Awards provide the world’s most talented chefs the opportunity to display their creativity on an international stage, and be rewarded with the culinary trip of a lifetime. Submissions for the competition were open from May 7 through July 31, and required chefs to create an original dish featuring Ora King Salmon showcasing their style, creativity and technique. This year saw a record number of entries in North America.

Additionally this year, chefs were asked to share how they incorporate the ethos of sustainability into their work, since sustainability is so crucial to ?ra King and the global food ecosystem.  “We believe that every industry has a responsibility to implement sustainable practices, and that the food industry specifically has great potential to be a positive force,” says New Zealand King Salmon Marketing Manager Foodservice, Anne-Marie Friis. “For this reason, we are rallying our international chef network and encouraging them to think critically about their personal sustainability journeys. The Awards let us celebrate the big and small steps that chefs and restaurants are taking.”

“We had chefs using overlooked ingredients that often go to waste, and we were delighted to see several entrants used Ora King from nose to tail in their dishes,” said Ms. Friis. “There were also entries that acknowledged the mental sustainability of restaurant teams, while other chefs referenced how childhood memories inspired them to look after the environment for future generations.”

The North American semi-finalists will now create their dishes for a live tasting by judges Akiko Katayama (Japanese food culture expert, Forbes columnist, and Heritage Radio host) and Chef Matthew Peters (former Per Se Executive Sous Chef and the first American chef to win the Bocuse d’Or Gold Medal for the United States, in 2017), who will select the three finalists to continue on to New Zealand. Finalists will be announced on September 16th.

"Cooking delicious and beautiful dishes is no longer enough as a chef,” says Akiko Katayama. “Chefs must also think about the responsibility they wield in serving food to the public.”

The 2019 Ora King Award Semi-Finalists for North America are:

  • MIA LI, Lenoir (Austin, TX) - Dish: “Full Circle” — Pain de mie crusted Ora King Salmon, creme fraiche, picked baby red onion, shallot oil, champagne vinegar. Ora King Chawanmushi, red curry oil, basil bugs. Ora King Collar, tamarind caramel, rice noodle, nuoc mam. Ora King Salmon, sweet rice, nori dust.  
  • ROBERT SISCA, Bistro du Midi (Boston, MA) -  Dish: Ora King Salmon, smoked belly rillette stuffed courgette flower, sea grapes, Ora King roe, green garlic emulsion
  • NATHAN GOULD, O Ya (Boston, MA) - Dish: Wild "Raised & Grazed" — Slow Cooked King Ora Salmon Loin, herb puree with a wild herb and green broth
  • ANDREW HUNTER, Restaurant at the Rabbit Hill Inn (Lower Waterford, VT) - Dish: Ora King Salmon Mi Cuit with Variations of Beet
  • VINCENZO LOSETO, Eleven Madison Park (New York City, NY) - Dish: Ora King Salmon with Squash, Miso and Shiitake Mushrooms
  • MARC KRAMPE, Social Southern Table & Bar (Lafayette, LA) - Dish: “One Fish, One Family” — Whole Fish to be Presented Family Style: Koji Cured Tail with babaganoush, charred okra, preserved green figs, pickled chanterelles,heirloom tomatoes, and house naan. Roasted Peanut Miso Loin, with local vegetables, fermented sambal handmade soba noodles and a dashi. Belly Torchon with green tomato chow chow. Ora Caviar, creme fraiche dehydrated ora skin and tare.

The 2018 Ora King Award Winners were: 

  • New Zealand - MARK MCALLISTER, Private Chef, Auckland
  • Australia - MICHAEL DEMAGISTRIS, Polperro Winery Restaurant, Red Hill
  • North America - JONATHAN GRANADA, Otium, Los Angeles
  • Japan - NAOKI NAGAI, All Day Dining Remone, Rihga Royal Hotel, Osaka

Ora King Salmon is a unique breed of fish farm-raised in New Zealand’s pristine Marlborough Sounds, some of cleanest and purest water in the world. Despite being introduced to the U.S. market only 7 years ago, chefs at the country’s top restaurants have become deeply passionate about the fish given its high oil content, striking marbled fat lines, bright orange flesh, and the sustainable aquaculture practices used to farm them. Only a handful of salmon farms in the world produce King Salmon, and Ora King is available year-round due to the producer’s meticulous breeding methods. 

2019 Ora King Awards

The seventh annual Ora King Awards recognize outstanding contributions from chefs working with Ora King - New Zealand King Salmon’s premium foodservice brand produced exclusively for fine dining restaurants. There are New Zealand, Australian, North American and Japan citations for Best Ora King Dish. 

About Ora King

Ora King is best-of-breed king salmon developed specifically for the foodservice industry. Ora King is the result of a commitment to quality founded on a classic breeding programme born in the top of New Zealand’s South Island two decades ago. All of the company’s husbandry and breeding—everything which Ora King represents—is dedicated to the professional chef. It is the best of the best. Ora King is to salmon as Wagyu is to beef.  

Media Contact:
Lauren Young
parallel pr | Founder 
e: [email protected]
c: 914-907-6339