Alaska Air Cargo delivers 80,000 lbs. of wild Copper River salmon to Seattle for chef cook-Off

Alaska Airlines has delivered more than 80,000 pounds of fresh Copper River salmon to Seattle on four Alaska Air Cargo flights, marking the beginning of the summer salmon-grilling season, anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest, the company said.

Every year, Alaska Air Cargo partners with the state of Alaska´s three largest seafood processors, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods, to bring the fish to Seattle and Anchorage, Alaska, where it will then be shipped to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the Pacific Northwest, United States and points beyond.

Alaska Airlines supports the Alaska seafood industry, which is recognized for its sustainable fishing practices. The airline flew more than 20 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood last year, including more than one million pounds of Copper River salmon.

The season´s first fish, a 40-pound king salmon donated by Copper River Seafoods, will become the catch of the day for three top Seattle chefs competing for the best salmon recipe in Alaska Air Cargo´s seventh annual Copper Chef Cook-off. Last year´s Copper Chef winner and James Beard Award nominee Ethan Stowell, executive chef and owner of Tavolata, Anchovies & Olive, will compete against executive chef John Howie, owner of Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar & John Howie Steakhouse and Chef Sam Burkhart of Etta´s and Seatown Seabar Restaurant.

In an “Iron Chef” type competition, the three culinary elites will have 30 minutes to prepare and serve the freshly caught salmon to a panel of celebrity judges. Fish lover judges include Seattle Seahawks wide-receiver Jermaine Kearse, Lauren Bushnell, Alaska Airlines flight attendant and winner of ABC´s “The Bachelor,” Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Jay Buhner and Mike “Totality” Kentrianakis, the astronomer and Internet sensation who created a video in April of a total solar eclipse aboard an Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage to Honolulu.

Alaska Airlines transports more than 170 million pounds of cargo annually–including seafood, mail and freight –and operates an extensive air cargo operation on the US West Coast.

Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves more than 100 cities through a network in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico.