Symphony of Seafood Comes to Seattle, Anchorage

The call is out for product entries for the 19th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood, coming to Seattle on Feb. 2 and Anchorage on Feb. 10.

Entry information is online at Considered products must be market ready by the date of the competition. The entry deadline is Jan. 6, 2012.

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation organizes the annual event.

For the 2012 competition, judging and a reception will be held on Seattle Feb. 2, with the annual gala soiree and awards presentation Feb. 10 in Anchorage.

The event’s multiple locations give fisheries and seafood promoters the opportunity to introduce new and innovative value-added seafood products from Alaska fisheries and to gain exposure with industry and culinary experts, seafood distributors and national media, said Jim Browning, executive director of AFDF.

Browning noted that AFDF is relying on industry sponsorship to a much greater degree this year as grant funding has declined, but that regular sponsors have increased their sponsorship level and new companies are stepping up to support the event.

Competition is grouped into one of three categories. Salmon, whitefish and shellfish compete in retail or food service competition, with a separate competition for smoked seafood products.

Entries will be judged on the product’s packaging and presentation, overall eating experience, price and potential for commercial success.

Once judges have finished their work, chefs, manufacturers, buyers, sellers and media will be invited to vote on their favorite product at the Seattle reception for the Seattle People’s Choice Award, which is announced at the end of that event in Seattle.

The overall grand prize, first, second and third place winners in each category are announced on Feb. 10, at Anchorage, where participants there also get to vote for the Anchorage People’s Choice Award.

Those who place first in each category receive complimentary booth space at the International Boston Seafood Show in March, the industry’s biggest event of the year, as well as free round trip airfare.