Culinary creations inspired by Ōra King and created by esteemed chefs from New Zealand, North America, Australia and Japan were celebrated today at the fifth annual Ōra King Awards, held at Happo-en Gardens in Tokyo. New Zealand King Salmon’s CEO Grant Rosewarne presented the 2017 awards to the winners, listed below:


Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand

Marc Soper of Wharekauhau Country Estate, Featherston, “Japanese inspired Ōra King Salmon served with bone broth”.  This is the second consecutive year that Marc has taken out the award.


Best Ōra King Dish Australia

Christopher Bonello of MPD Steak Kitchen, Melbourne, “Ōra King salmon, Noodles and Rocks”.


Best Ōra King Dish North America

Travis Swikard of Boulud Sud, New York City, “Japanese Whisper”.


Best Ōra King Dish Japan

Yosuke Kanai of Fleuve, Hotel Granvia Osaka, “Ōra King Confit”.

Over 300 chefs from around the world accepted the challenge to enter their Best Ōra King Dish – with the addition of a Japanese twist. After an initial selection round, the final contenders were then independently judged by a panel of leading food experts.

The New Zealand winner was judged by Lauraine Jacobs and Geoff Scott who attended the prestigious award ceremony. Geoff praised the entrants’ dedication to incorporating the Japanese theme. He says,

“We saw this theme expressed in the use of Japanese ingredients grown in New Zealand, such as wasabi, fresh yuzu and sake, in classical dishes reinterpreted such as sushi, Sanpeijiru and shichimi togarashi, and in seasonal, regional and historical ideas represented by the use of produce, recipe inspiration and design”.

The finalists and Best Ōra King Ambassadors from New Zealand, Australia and North America were flown to Tokyo for the award ceremony and are currently on an exclusive chef’s tour of Japan, hosted by Ōra King Salmon.

The whirlwind tour of gastronomical and cultural inspiration includes: experiencing the famed tuna auction at the world’s largest seafood market, Tsukiji Market, learning about the ancient ceramic art of Kintsugi, and dining at world-renowned restaurants Nadaman and NOBU. The chef’s tour finishes in the mountain town of Hakone where the group will visit traditional artisan producers, including an organic miso manufacturer and a 350 year old teahouse.  

General Manager Marketing at New Zealand King Salmon, Jemma McCowan says

“Taking the Awards to Japan has been an incredible opportunity to reward the efforts of some of our dedicated Ōra King chefs and to foster their commitment to superb craftsmanship through an immersive experience in Japanese culture and cuisine.”

Correspondingly, the winner of the Best Ōra King Dish Japan, Yosuke Kanai, will be flown to New Zealand early next year to tour New Zealand King Salmon’s Golden Bay fresh-water hatchery, Marlborough Sounds sea farms and the Nelson processing facility to experience first-hand how the best-of-breed Ōra King salmon is grown.