Today I got up quite early for a special event. Salmon. Lots and lots of salmon.
After I woke up I headed over to Alaska Airline’s cargo facility by Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for a special delivery: 22,000 pounds of Copper River Salmon! If you don’t know about Copper River Salmon, you have been missing out. It is like the king of salmon.
22,000lbs might sound like a lot, but Alaska flew about 700,000lbs of Copper River Salmon last year and more than 25 million pounds of seafood last year. Yikes! Maybe it should be called sea-air food (ok I know bad joke).
“Alaska Airlines flies more Copper River salmon throughout the season than any other airline,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska’s vice president of marketing. “With enhanced food quality procedures and additional flights to support the Alaska seafood industry, we are going the extra mile to deliver fresh seafood throughout the country.”
Each year Alaska Airlines flies the season’s first catch of the fish from Cordova, AK to Seattle and beyond. Not only did I get to watch Alaska’s Boeing 737-400 Cargo land, but Alaska also had their Salmon-3-Salmon present to celebrate.
A 46lb salmon was the first one to de-plane and was filleted. Three chefs competed to make the best meal and a panel of judges, including Jay Buhner, Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer; Mike Fourtner, deckhand on the F/V Time Bandit, as featured on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch;” Paul Wulff, Washington State University football coach (go University of Washington Huskies — my alum); and Alaska Airlines President Brad Tilden.
Follow @AlaskaAir on Twitter, to see the winning Copper River salmon recipe. The three recipes prepared for the Copper Chef Cook-off are available to download at http://bit.ly/CRSalmon. Fish lovers are encouraged to share their own favorite salmon recipes on Twitter, using the hashtag #CRsalmon. (if none of that Twitter talk makes sense to you, don’t worry, just pretend I just wrote something in Greek).
This means you will start to be able to find the Copper River Salmon at your local grocery store or seafood restaurant. You can rest assured that the salmon flying on Alaska will be fresh, since each employee is trained on how to handle perishable cargo. The salmon is kept cool and they make sure the journey is quick.
Copper River salmon might cost a bit more and is it worth it? HECK YES!
Check out all 71 photos of this morning’s event. A special thanks for Alaska Airlines for putting on this awesome event and of course the invite!