SEATTLE, May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 20,000 pounds of fresh Copper River salmon arrived in Seattle on a fish-filled Alaska Airlines plane touching down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport shortly after 6 a.m. this morning. Today officially marks the beginning of the summer salmon grilling season that is anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. In total, Alaska Air Cargo has three more flights scheduled throughout the day to bring in up to 60,000 pounds of salmon.
Every year Alaska Air Cargo partners with the state of Alaska's three largest seafood processors, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods, to bring the coveted fish to Seattle and Anchorage, Alaska, where it will then be shipped to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the Pacific Northwest, United States and points beyond.
"Employees work round the clock to ensure Alaska Air Cargo can deliver the first catch of the coveted wild Copper River salmon from the state of Alaska to Seattle and on to points across the country within 24 hours of being caught," said Jason Berry, Alaska Air Cargo managing director. "As the salmon season gets into full swing, our team is standing by to transport fresh Alaska salmon to restaurants and consumers throughout the US."
Alaska Airlines plays a significant role in supporting the Alaska seafood industry, which is recognized worldwide for its sustainable fishing practices. The airline flew more than 20 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood last year, including more than 1 million pounds of Copper River salmon.
Chefs compete in 7th annual Copper Chef Cook-off
The season's first fish, a 40-pound king salmon donated by Copper River Seafoods, will become the catch of the day for three top Seattle chefs competing for the best salmon recipe in Alaska Air Cargo's seventh annual "Copper Chef Cook-off." Last year's Copper Chef winner and James Beard Award nominee Ethan Stowell, executive chef and owner of Tavolata, Anchovies & Olive, will compete against executive chef John Howie, owner of Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar & John Howie Steakhouse and Chef Sam Burkhart of Etta's and Seatown Seabar Restaurant. In an "Iron Chef" type competition, the three culinary elites will have 30 minutes to prepare and serve the freshly caught salmon to a panel of celebrity judges. Fish lover judges include Seattle Seahawks wide-receiver Jermaine Kearse, Lauren Bushnell, Alaska Airlines flight attendant and winner of ABC's "The Bachelor," Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Jay Buhner and Mike "Totality" Kentrianakis, the astronomer and internet sensation who created a video in April of a total solar eclipse aboard an Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage to Honolulu. The video went viral with more than 2 million views. Seattle culinary icon Tom Douglas and local media personality John Curley will co-emcee the event.
The winning Copper River salmon recipe will be announced on the airline's Twitter account @AlaskaAir. Salmon lovers are encouraged to share their favorite ways to eat Copper River salmon with @AlaskaAir using the hashtag #1stCopperRiver.
Fish fanatics who want to recreate the dishes can download the chefs' recipes at http://www.alaskasworld.com/newsroom/documents/recipes.pdf and learn what makes the Copper River salmon some of the most desired fish in the world on the Alaska Airlines blog https://blog.alaskaair.com/.
Note to media: High-resolution photographs of the season's first fish and Alaska Air Cargo's "Copper Chef Cook-off" will be posted to Alaska Airlines' blog at https://blog.alaskaair.com/ by 10 a.m. Pacific time, May 17, 2016.
Alaska Airlines transports more than 170 million pounds of cargo annually—including seafood, mail and freight —and operates the most extensive air cargo operation on the U.S. West Coast of any passenger airline.
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves more than 100 cities through an expansive network in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America" in the J.D. Power North American Airline Satisfaction Study for nine consecutive years from 2008 to 2016. Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan also ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs" in the J.D. Power Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report for the last three consecutive years. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
SOURCE Alaska Airlines