Above: Jay Buhner photobombs Jed Spikes of Whole Foods, who is flanked by Stacy Kerns and Mike Coulston of Ocean Beauty
There have been two Copper River openers thus far. Despite a large forecast, sockeye catch has been lighter than expected. A big year is forecast, however, and the run appears to be building. Our Production team has done a great job getting fish to the dock and processed quickly, while our Logistics team has done a fantastic job lining up shipment options to get orders delivered to our customers in a timely fashion – putting us ahead of our competitors in many cases. Our Distribution and Sales teams are working hard to keep fish moving through the market, knowing more fish is ahead and volumes will build.
But why is Copper River such a big deal? Why do Seattle television stations and celebrity chefs cover a fish with such intensity? Isn’t it just another fish? No, not really. Copper River kicks off the Alaska and Pacific Northwest salmon season. It’s like New Year’s Day for Northwest seafood. It’s the first big salmon run to come in, and allows us to celebrate the return of the iconic wild salmon in all its wonderful, sustainable, untamed glory. The fish are here! Let’s eat the best of our seasonal foods and rejoice in the new year of promise.
Alaska Airlines Copper Chef Cook-Off, 2015
On May 15th, Alaska Airlines held their sixth annual Copper Chef Cook-Off. Three of Seattle’s top Chefs were challenged with cooking the ceremonial first king salmon of the season which weighed over 50 pounds. Noted chefs were John Howie (Seastar Restaurant, John Howie Steak, and Sport Restaurant Bar), Chef Eric Tanaka (Tanakasan), and Ethan Stowell (Staple & Fancy and Tavolata). Ethan Stowell took top honors this year with a beautifully presented salmon with morels and peas.
Alaska Airlines transports over 100 million pounds of mixed cargo annually—including Ocean Beauty’s fresh seafood.
Visit the Alaska Airlines blog to see more pictures and read about the first fish journey.