Bullwhip Hot Sauce, featuring Alaska bull kelp as its number one ingredient, swept top honors in the 2020 Alaska Symphony of Seafoods, to take home the grand prize, first place in retail competition and the Juneau People’s Choice award.
“We have been amazed by people’s response since its release, owners of the Juneau-based company said after winning the awards. “When kelp is paired with piri pepper, tomatoes and fresh garlic, the delicious flavor makes you want to put this sauce on everything. The Alaska kelp industry is on an exciting trajectory and these awards showcase that we can make really delicious foods out of kelp.”
The sauce itself is described as imparting a deep umami flavor, a savory or meaty taste.
Four of the 20 products entered in the 2020 symphony competition, in fact, were made from seaweed, demonstrating a new trend in growing seaweed in Alaska, said Julie Decker, executive director of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, which organizes the annual competition, with galas in Seattle and Juneau.
The Symphony encourages development of new value-added products made from Alaska seafood. The goal is to boost the value of Alaska seafood by encouraging product development, to diversify markets, utilize more of the resource and reduce fish waste.
First place winners in each category and the grand prize winner receive booth space at the Seafood Expo North America in March in Boston, entry into the national new produce competition, and roundtrip airfare from sponsor Alaska Air Cargo.
Wild Alaska Cod Fish & Chips Meal Kit by Alaska Leader Seafoods took second place in retail competition, followed by Sea Asparagus Pesto by Foraged & Found.
High Liner Foods won foodservice competition with its Alaska Wild Wings. Alaskan Kombu Seaweed by Blue Evolution was second and Tai Foong USA was third with Salmon Dumplings
In the Beyond the Plate competition Alaska Fish Skin Jewelry by WILD by Nature placed first, and Pescadots by Drool Central: A Mum & Pup Barkery, was second.
People’s Choice awards for the product that got the most votes at the two galas included Bullwhip Hot Sauce in Juneau and Wild Alaska Cod Fish & Chips Meal Kit in Seattle.
Major sponsors of this year’s event included Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Lineage Logistics, Trident Seafoods, Marine Stewardship Council, Northwest Fisheries Association, Alaska Air Cargo and the At-Sea Processors Association.