Stage one of Australia’s first official Ōra King salmon Awards are complete, with two local chefs in the running to win an international award – Best Ōra King Dish International.


Elijah Holland of The Powder Keg in Sydney and Todd Thorburn from Victa & Hoist St ALi in Melbourne have earned themselves a position in the finals of the Ōra King Awards and will compete alongside other international chefs.


Elijah Holland - The Powder Keg

Elijah Holland, The Powder Keg


Todd Thorburn - Victa & Hoist

Todd Thorburn – Victa & Hoist, St Ali


Holland and Thorburn joined chefs from across the country to participate in Australia’s first Ōra King Awards, creating unique dishes for their restaurants that embrace the Ōra King philosophy and showcase originality and technique.


Holland’s winning creation was a rolled 42 degree salmon belly with house made black eshallots, organic young potato confit in 100 per cent pure Ōra King salmon oil. The dish also featured a vast array of locally foraged ingredients including wood sorrel, yarrow and native violets.


Elijah Holland, The Powder Keg, Sydney

Elijah Holland’s 42 degree Ōra King salmon


Sydney-based judge Lyndey Milan described Holland’s dish as having “great depth of flavour and complexity” and praised Holland for his “fantastic understanding of the different parts of the fish and the unique properties of the Ōra King salmon.”


Holland is the Head Chef at Powder Keg and a self-proclaimed forager. Making it to the next stage of the competition, Holland is excited by the prospect of bringing native Aussie inspiration to the New Zealand shores.


Thorburn, who began his love affair with Ōra King as a chef in New Zealand, created a Confit Ōra King salmon with smoked leek, pickled fennel, matcha wasabi meringue and bee pollen showcasing it at the Monash University based restaurant. He describes his dish as “a sensory combination of textures and temperatures to celebrate such an amazing product.”


Todd Thorburn - Victa & Hoist

Todd Thorburn’s confit of Ōra King salmon


Melbourne based judge Alice Zaslavsky (Alice in Frames) described Thorburn’s dish as “very creative and innovative and showcased the natural richness of the Ōra King Salmon.”


The three other Australian finalists who wowed the judges were Jason Brown from Bommie Yacht Club, Hamilton Island, Kurt Lilley of Huxtable, Melbourne, and wild card entrant Davide Benati from Italian Marina Restaurant in Noosa.


The winners of the Best Ōra King Dish International and Ōra King Ambassador International will be announced at the Ōra King salmon lunch and award ceremony in New Zealand on Tuesday, 20 October.


Ōra King Salmon General Manager Marketing Jemma McCowan, says the calibre of entrants in Australia and their individual interpretations of Ōra King salmon is an inspiration.


“Ōra King Salmon has been thoroughly embraced in New Zealand but to see Australian chefs appreciate and understand our unique breed of salmon and the quality it possesses is a wonderful thing.”




Meaghan Kemeny | | 02 9667 4211 | 0413 858 818

Frankie Gallucci | | 02 9667 4211 |0400 155 958


For more information, get in touch with Ōra King salmon via its website and social channels:


About Ōra King

Ōra King salmon is a best-of-breed king salmon developed specifically for the food service industry. Ōra King is a result of a commitment to quality founded on a classic breeding programme born in the top of New Zealand’s South Island two decades ago. All of the company’s husbandry and breeding, everything which Ōra King represents, is dedicated to the professional chef. It is the best of the best. Ōra King is to salmon as Wagyu is to beef.



2015 Ōra King Awards

The third annual Ōra King Awards (The Ōra’s) recognise outstanding contributions from chefs working with Ōra King – New Zealand King Salmon’s premium foodservice brand produced exclusively for fine dining restaurants in New Zealand and overseas.  There are New Zealand and international citations for both Best Ōra King Ambassador and Best Ōra King Dish. The ambassador awards are decided solely by Ōra King’s global team. Nominations for the best dish awards are made by chefs throughout the country and the final judging is handed over to industry experts.