20 September 2016
ŌRA KING AWARDS – AUSTRALIA FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane chefs make the final
The creation of innovative dishes such as King salmon skin dome, paperbark smoked King salmon and beetroot cured King salmon signal the return of the highly coveted Ōra King Awards.
The finalists for the Best Ōra King Dish Australia award have been announced with chefs from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane making the final three.
The annual Ōra King Awards, now in its fourth year, recognises outstanding contributions from chefs working with Ōra King salmon, which is exclusively available to restaurants. This is the first year there has been a dedicated Best Ōra King Dish Australia award.
The finalists for Best Ōra King Dish Australia are:
Christopher Taylor – MPD Steak Kitchen, Melbourne
Seaweed rolled Ōra King salmon, skin dome, stinging nettle, beetroot, smoked yoghurt and herbs
Joshua Askew – JPB Restaurant, Swisotel, Sydney
Paperbark smoked Ōra King salmon, warrigal greens puree, puffed wild rice, pickled beetroot and sea spray
Mark Bashinsky – ARIA, Brisbane
Beetroot cured Ōra King salmon, beetroot, cauliflower, caviar and horseradish
New Zealand King Salmon General Manager of Marketing Jemma McCowan says that in the fourth year of the awards campaign, the time is right to expand into dedicated Best Dish categories for both Australia and the USA.
“Having received twice as many Australian entries this year in comparison to last year, the competition is stronger than ever. The Ōra King judges have spent the past four weeks visiting eight semi-finalist restaurants around the country to get to our final three,” Ms McCowan says.
“The judges certainly had a tough job on their hands and we are thrilled with the final three.”
Melbourne judge and former chef Carol Rothschild, commented that Christopher’s dish was “stunning in its presentation; the crowning jewel being the salmon skin dome.”
Joshua presented “food theatre and amazing flavour combinations” which wowed Sydney judge, chef and cookbook author Zoe Bingley-Pullin.
Queensland judge and restaurant reviewer, Helen Flanagan describes Mark’s dish as “meticulously crafted and well executed … he treated Ōra King salmon with the respect it deserves – sitting atop a pedestal as the shining super hero surrounded by fans.”
The three Australian Best Dish finalists have won an all-expenses paid trip to New Zealand courtesy of Ōra King salmon. They will join chefs from the USA and New Zealand on a bespoke week-long culinary programme.
The winners of all five Ōra King award categories are announced at the annual awards ceremony and celebratory lunch at The Nelson Club, New Zealand on 11 October. The categories are Best Ōra King Ambassador New Zealand and International, Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand, Australia and USA.
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.
The winner of the Best Ōra King Dish International award last year was Sydney-based chef and forager Elijah Holland who has the enviable task of cooking at this year’s awards ceremony in Nelson, New Zealand.
Please find further information here: https://orakingsalmon.co.nz/.
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2016 Australian Finalists
While chasing snow and year round winters across Australian and America, Chris fell into kitchens and developed his passion for cooking that has seen him through the last 10 years of his career. Chris has been with MPD Steak Kitchen from their opening in June 2016 and enjoys cooking with wood fire as per his Ora King entry.
Inspired by Jamie Oliver, Joshua left school at age 15 and applied for an apprentice role at the Bayview Tavern, Gladesville. Since then, Joshua has worked in various roles across Australia and abroad; from fine dining, to five-star international hotel chains and gastro pubs. He cites working on a tropical island and overseeing the operation of five restaurants and more than 40 chefs as the role that truly defined him as a chef. 2015 was a milestone year for Askew, embarking upon a role as Executive Chef at Swissôtel Sydney, becoming one of the youngest Executive Chefs across the group.
Mark Bashinsky Mark has worked within the ARIA family for over a decade. In 2005, he began as an apprentice at ARIA Sydney, before moving to Brisbane in 2007 to assist with the opening of ARIA Brisbane. Since then, Mark has worked his way up to Sous Chef at ARIA Brisbane. In 2008, Mark completed a four-month stage across America, and in 2012 he was awarded the 2015 Hostplus Hospitality scholarship which saw Mark travel to Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo to stage at some of the top restaurants around the world.
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 over two decades ago. The King salmon bred within this programme have developed specific and unique traits which distinguish them from other King salmon. All of the company’s husbandry and breeding, everything which Ōra King represents, is dedicated to the professional chef. Ōra King is to salmon as Wagyu is to beef.