All photos done by Tad Carlson/NYCAviation – Click any for larger view.

Today Seattle welcomed Alaska Air Cargo’s Boeing 737-400 Combi (N764AS), containing 12 tons of Copper River Salmon, which is a favorite of fish connoisseurs.

One lucky fish was donated by Ocean Beauty Seafood to be cooked up for Alaska Airline’s second annual Copper Chef Cook Off Competition. The large fish was carried off the plane by the captain and in the open market it would be worth about $1000.

Three Seattle area restaurants, Anthony’s, Elliott’s Oyster House and SkyCity at the Needle, did their best to wow the VIP judges. At the judging table were Jay Buhner, Seattle Mariner Hall of Famer, Mike Fourtner, deckhand on the F/V Time Bandit on the Discovery Channel’s ’œThe Deadliest Catch’ and Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing.

Local Seattle celebrity John Curley provided humor and commentary while the cooks had 30 minutes to cook their best salmon. Although all three restaurants created delicious dishes for the judges and guests, Anthony’s held on to their title as Best Copper Chef of 2011.

The three recipes prepared for the Copper Chef Cook-off are available to download on Alaska’s website and fish lovers are encouraged to share their own favorite salmon recipes on Twitter, using the hashtag #CRsalmon.

Along with Alaska employees and invited media, Alaska MVP members who donated 75,000 miles to the Make-a-Wish foundation were invited to celebrate the arrival of the salmon and get a taste of each recipe.

Alaska Airlines is no stranger to flying seafood. Last year, they flew more than 22 million pounds of Alaskan seafood to the continental US, including almost 350 tons of Copper River Salmon.

“We’re proud to bring this prized, wild Copper River salmon to the Lower 48 and points beyond,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ 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.”

This story was a joint effort between and


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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I wish that I liked fish.

They had some pretty good donuts there too 🙂


Umm…uh… crickets chirping…

This is news?

Yes 🙂

I am guessing you haven’t had Copper River Salmon? You should try it.

I think it is pretty neat for an airline to do something different like this. They could just bring the first delivery in with no hurrah, but inviting VIP customers to share in this celebration is pretty cool for an airline to do.


I’ll give it a try based on your suggestion. I’m really not a Salmon fan. But hey, why not!

forum ile de r

Alaska is definitely a great idea for a fishing trip. See that salmon wow

still wanna do ireland first then alaska. cool


Copper river salmon is amazing–I live in Northern California, and we do get some of it down here.

Too bad Alaska Airlines couldn’t do for the poor salmon like they do for the annual White House Thanksgiving turkey–the President always ‘pardons’ it and sends it to a game farm in Virginia. This salmon had a different fate. 🙂

I am not sure how much a whole turkey costs, but I am guessing it is a lot less than $1000 :).



I absolutely love Copper River salmon! I checked with my local Safeway today and they don’t have it yet.
BTW, the reason this salmon is so delicious and unique is that they have to bulk up more for the long journey up the Copper River. I learned this at the Copper River Delta outside Cordova.

Janice Ann Monaco

1 lb. Copper River Sockeye Salmon
3 Cloves Crushed Garlic
3 Table Spoons Butter
1/2 Lemmon Squeezed
1 Teaspoon black pepper
1 Grill

Cook it for about 8 min. on the hot grill, maybe 10 min. Depending on the heat. Bon Petite!

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