NEW YORK, Oct. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Top NYC chef Travis Swikard triumphed in Tokyo at the Ōra King Awards ceremony yesterday, with his dish "Japanese Whisper" being named the Best Ōra King Dish North America 2017.
Chefs from around the world were challenged to enter their Best Ōra King Dish with a Japanese twist. In North America, the final three dishes were judged by food writer and photographer, Bonjwing Lee.
Chef Travis' dish is a tartare of Ōra King salmon, cured in sake-soaked Kombu, diced and seasoned with toasted sesame seeds and nori. Playing on the Japanese theme, whilst staying true to his Mediterranean style, the sauce is inspired by wasabi but is actually made from crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, peas and horseradish. "Japanese Whisper" is finished with accompaniments of sweet summer cucumbers, fiery daikon radish, and nasturtium, which has a natural wasabi and umami seaweed flavour.
Ōra King Best Dish North America judge, Bonjwing Lee, commended Chef Travis' skill in delivering a Japanese-inspired dish which reflected his Mediterranean-focused restaurant, Boulud Sud. Lee says,
"He successfully and seamlessly wove east and west together with specific visual cues, such as the ribbons of cucumber and use of flowers, which look towards the warm coasts of Italy and France, and Japanese flavours like daikon, sake and kombu".
He goes on to say, "the texture and flavor of the salmon alone, was the single-most memorable part of the dish, clearly marking it as the hero. Thoughtful, creative, well-executed and delicious".
Chef Travis competed against high end chefs from across North America to take out the award including finalists Eric Fralick from Noble Rice in Tampa, Florida and Jonathan Granada from Otium in Los Angeles.
The three finalists along with the Ōra King Best Ambassador for North America, Mike Ellis, were invited on an exclusive chef's tour of Japan, hosted by Ōra King Salmon, held to mark the fifth annual Ōra King Awards.
General Manager Marketing at New Zealand King Salmon, Jemma McCowan says, "The competition is getting more intense each year. It is impressive to see a wide range of Ōra King chefs from across North America apply their creativity and culinary expertise to showcase Ōra King. Chef Travis' dish perfectly married our Japanese twist with his own Mediterranean style with exceptional treatment of the hero ingredient, Ōra King. He is truly deserving of this award."
The winners of the 2017 Ōra King Best Dish Awards are:
- Best Ōra King Dish North America, Travis Swikard, Boulud Sud, New York City
- Best Ōra King Dish Australia, Christopher Bonello, MPD Steak Kitchen, Melbourne
- Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand, Marc Soper, Wharekauhau Country Estate, Featherston
- Best Ōra King Dish Japan, Yosuke Kanai, Fleuve, Hotel Granvia Osaka.
2017 Ōra King Winner Biographies available on request.
2017 Ōra King Awards
The fifth annual Ōra King Awards (The Ōra's) recognise outstanding contributions from chefs working with Ōra King - New Zealand King Salmon's premium foodservice brand produced exclusively for fine dining restaurants in New Zealand and overseas. There are New Zealand and international citations for both Best Ōra King Ambassador and Best Ōra King Dish. Entries for the best dish awards are submitted by chefs throughout the country and the final judging is handed over to industry experts.
The Ōra's, as the awards are colloquially known, see chefs from around the world competing for one of four coveted Best Dish titles. They are:
- Best Ōra King Dish North America
- Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand
- Best Ōra King Dish Australia
- Best Ōra King Dish Japan
Individual Ambassador awards are presented to an Ōra King chef in three regions. The recipient of these Ambassador awards are decided solely by the Ōra King team, representing the loyalty and dedication the chef has shown to Ōra King over the past year. They are:
- Best Ōra King Ambassador North America, Mike Ellis, Charlie Palmer Steak
- Best Ōra King Ambassador New Zealand, Makoto Tokuyama, Cocoro
- Best Ōra King Ambassador Australia, Jason Roberts
Terms and conditions relating to the Ōra King Awards competition can be viewed on the Ōra King website.
About Ōra King
Ōra King is a best-of-breed King salmon developed specifically for the foodservice industry. Ōra King is the result of a commitment to quality founded on a classic breeding programme born in the top of New Zealand's South Island two decades ago. All of the company's husbandry and breeding, everything which Ōra King represents, is dedicated to the professional chef. It is the best of the best. Ōra King is to salmon as Wagyu is to beef.
About Travis Swikard
Born and raised in San Diego, Chef Travis Swikard was exposed to the world of food by his father – an avid home cook and gardener. It was in California that Swikard also crossed paths with Gavin Kaysen, who would later recruit him to the kitchens at Café Boulud. Three years later, Travis was hand-picked to join the opening team for a new Mediterranean concept, Boulud Sud. Named Executive Chef in 2013, Swikard's passion for quality ingredients, the stories behind traditional dishes and the craftsmanship of cooking have secured Boulud Sud a tenured position among the Upper West Side's most beloved dining destinations.
About Bonjwing Lee
Bonjwing Lee is a writer and photographer based in Kansas City, Missouri.
Known for his distinct photojournalistic and storytelling approach to food and travel in particular, Bonjwing has sold his photographs commercially and in the art market. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, GQ, Food + Wine Magazine, Bon Appetit Magazine, and two cookbooks. His clients have included restaurants and luxury resorts and properties around the world; companies, international products and service brands; and culinary events around the world.
In addition to writing the blog, "the ulterior epicure," Bonjwing is a published cookbook writer. His writing has also appeared in numerous publications, including Food + Wine Magazine.
Media Contact: Michael Fabbro, Ōra King, +1 888 865 9548, [email protected]
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