Sustainability – as the world attempts to combat climate change, biodiversity loss, conflict and resource scarcity – seems an appropriate theme for the 2019 ‘Best Ōra King Dish’ Awards, which has revealed its line-up of international winners during an official awards ceremony at Spy Valley, Marlborough Sounds.
Kiwi chef, Phil Clark, renowned for his successful career in some of Auckland’s must prestigious restaurants, Sidart and Merediths, and at London’s three Michelin-starred restaurants Tom Aikens, Arbutus and Wild Honey, was awarded the coveted food industry accolade for his dish ‘Ocean, Seabed, Land and Rivers’.
Phil’s impressive interpretation embraced the theme ‘Sustain’, featuring an edible ‘plastic bag washed up on the seashore’ from fish stock jelly filled with Ōra king caviar to demonstrate the importance of taking care of our oceans, seabed, land and rivers by reducing the use of plastic.
Phil says; “I’ve drawn inspiration from my own sustainability stories and experience living on a small island surrounded by water. Every individual and industry has a responsibility to implement sustainable practices, so I welcomed the challenge to think critically about how to tell my sustainability journey through this dish.”
Finalists from around the world flew to New Zealand for the annual celebration, now in its seventh year. The Ōra King Awards (The Ōra’s) is one of the most prestigious events on the culinary calendar, this year’s theme ‘Sustain’ challenged chefs to create a dish using Ōra King salmon worthy of the coveted accolade that represented how they approach sustainability in their restaurants.
New Zealand King Salmon Co. Ltd. – the parent company of Ōra King, its premium foodservice brand – believes aquaculture and sustainable farming practices are integral to the welfare and future of our planet. This commitment was the foundation of this year’s awards. Themes such as zero waste, nose to tail preparation, and the idea of social sustainability, emerged as the primary ways chefs across the world think they can contribute to our global pursuit of a more sustainable future.
“We all have a responsibility to live more sustainably,” says NZKS CEO Grant Rosewarne. “Our annual Ōra King Awards provide a platform to engage our global community of chefs, who are running restaurants at the highest level, and who have a real ability to make an impact on our food system. The sustainability stories we received from this year’s record-breaking number of entrants was truly inspiring and affirmation that our chef-partners are motivated to be an agent of change with us.”
“Our team at Ōra King has been so inspired by the moving sustainable stories submitted by this year’s chefs, that we will collate the best entries into a coffee table book featuring sustainable food stories, to be published later this year.”
Ōra King Awards Judge, Lauraine Jacobs, explains, ”This year’s theme ‘Sustain’, ignited the passion that exceptional chefs hold for the very best food they can source. Outstanding internationally renowned chefs and restauranteurs, including Michelin-star chefs, made up the exceptional line-up of finalists. Each Ōra King Award winner was chosen because the delivery of each of their stunning dishes not only made Ōra King Salmon the hero of the plate but told sustainability stories that were evocative of the theme and often truly emotional.”
The award winning line-up of internationally acclaimed chefs includes:
- The winner of the Best Ōra King Dish Australia: Joachim Lim, MPD Steak Kitchen, Victoria
- The winner of the Best Ōra King Dish North America: Vincenzo Loseto, Eleven Madison Park, New York
- The winner of the Best Ōra King Dish Japan: Yasuhiro Tsuji, Arc-en-ciel Luxe Mariage Nagoya
The award ceremony caps a tour of New Zealand curated by Ōra King, during which chefs visit the hatchery in Te Waikoropupu Springs, sea farms in the Marlborough Sounds, and private tour of New Zealand King Salmon’s facilities in Nelson, NZ.