Seattle chefs compete in the ninth annual Copper Chef Cook-off

More than 16,000 pounds of fresh Copper River salmon arrived in Seattle on a fish-filled Alaska Airlines plane touching down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the company said.

The event officially marks the beginning of the summer salmon grilling season that is anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. In total, Alaska Air Cargo has three more flights scheduled throughout the day to bring in an additional 48,000 pounds of salmon to market.

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

The season´s first fish, a 45-pound king salmon donated by Trident Seafoods, will become the catch of the day for three Seattle chefs competing for the best salmon recipe in the ninth annual “Copper Chef Cook-off.”

The chefs competing this year includes defending champion John Sundstrom, chef-owner, Lark, Slab Sandwiches + Pie, Southpaw Pizza, Executive Chef Paul Duncan of Ray´s Boathouse and Executive Chef Chris Bryant of Wildfin American Grill.

In an “Iron Chef” type competition, the three culinary elites will have 30 minutes to prepare and serve the freshly caught salmon to an audience of Alaska Airlines customers. Oregon winery Erath will provide wine pairings to accompany the dishes prepared during the cook-off.

The winning Copper River salmon recipe will be announced on the airline´s Twitter account @AlaskaAir. Salmon lovers are encouraged to share their favorite ways to eat Copper River salmon by tagging @AlaskaAir and using the hashtag #iflyalaska.

Fish fanatics who want to recreate the dishes can download the chef´s recipes at and can learn more about some of the people of Cordova, Alaska that help to power the Alaskan fishing industry on the Alaska blog at

Alaska Air Cargo transports more than 170 million pounds of cargo annually–including seafood, mail and freight –and operates the most extensive air cargo operation on the US West Coast of any passenger airline.

Alaska Airlines and its regional partners fly 44 million guests a year to more than 115 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 900 destinations worldwide. Learn about Alaska´s award-winning service at and Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).