Watch out Copper River...
By Laine Welch
May 26, 2006
That's the rallying cry of a small but passionate group that is intent on creating the kind of excitement for Kodiak salmon that Cordova has cornered for its famous Copper River fish.
Islanders are launching an inaugural "First Salmon of the Season Celebration" on June 1, an idea spawned by chef Joel Chenet, Kodiak's most outspoken advocate for all local seafood.
Two years ago, Chenet marked the start of Kodiak's salmon season by dispatching local floatplanes to pick up fish from the grounds on opening day, quickly transforming them into ready to cook entrees, and flying them directly to the offices of Alaska's congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. This year, the plan is to be "more inclusive" by launching a local salmon celebration at home.
Once again, catches of the first sockeye salmon of the season will be flown to Kodiak City from remote sites shortly after the fishery opens at noon on June 1.Chenet will immediately begin preparing the fish into an elaborate dinner (titled "Setnet Trilogy") that includes salmon soup with salmon dumplings, salmon kiev with king crab veloute, salmon poached in spring rhubarb juice with Alutiiq seasonings and salmonberry mousse cakes.
The First Salmon celebration
will include much more than fine dining. Before dinner, guests
will be greeted by the Alutiiq Dancers, and elders from the community
will share the cultural significance of Kodiak's first fish of
the season among other special presentations. The meal will also
mark the grand opening of the Eagle's Landing Restaurant at the
new Comfort Inn, formerly the Buskin River Inn next to the Kodiak
Airport. Proceeds from the Salmon Celebration will go to the
Alutiiq Dancers and Kodiak Salmon Camp.
But that is finally beginning to change, said Dave Kaplan, a film maker and project manager for the Star of Kodiak, a local quality assurance program that is co-sponsoring the First Salmon Celebration. "Kodiak is a sleeping giant in terms of its fish. All we need is to collaborate on more local events like this to get people to recognize that we have the best seafood and salmon in the world. Three thousand Kodiak bears can't be wrong," Kaplan added with a laugh.
Chef Chenet, who along with
his Mill Bay Coffee & Pastry Shop will be operating the Eagle's
Landing Restaurant, said the Kodiak Salmon Celebration will be
the "first of many firsts." Along with salmon, he intends
to begin annual promotions for the first landings of Kodiak cod,
halibut, rockfish, crab and other local seafood. Get more information
at 907-486-4411, 907-486-1711 or email@example.com .
As food makers scramble to meet the growing demand for healthier products, they are coming up with some unique combinations. According to Intrafish, nutrition trends from the include pigs being engineered so their meat contains more omega three fatty acids.
In Japan, studies show that fish based, low fat diets are far healthier than the average American menu, and contributes to longer life. Researchers fed groups of mice powdered hamburgers and fried chicken, and fish and rice porridge. The study found genes that break down cholesterol and fat were one and a half times more active with the Japanese diet. Cholesterol levels were ten times higher in the mice that were fed on the American burger and fries diet. Japan is home to some of the world's oldest people. Life expectancy is 86 years for women and 79 years for men. The Japanese researchers will soon conduct a similar diet study on humans.
Finally, a company called Tasker
has introduced "Pacific Blue Seafood Spray a tasteless,
anti-bacterial spritzer that is a quick and easy way to eliminate
odors and extend the shelf life of seafood. The spray has been
tested on a wide variety of seafood at the North Carolina State
Center for Marine Science & Technology, Virginia Tech University
and Mississippi State University. Results showed that it can
extend the shelf life several days when used at retail locations.
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