SEATTLE (AP) — The first shipment of Alaska’s Copper River salmon arrived Friday morning at Sea-Tac Airport aboard an Alaska Airlines cargo flight from Cordova.

Pilot Trent Davey carried a 55-pound king salmon off the plane. He held it over his head, then took it down the steps, across a red carpet and handed it to three Seattle chefs, competing in the annual “Copper Chef Cook-off.” Some raw salmon bits were handed out to airline employees and other guests.

Copper River salmon are prized for their high oil content and flavor. They typically bring the highest prices at restaurants and fish markets.

About 20,000 pounds of wild salmon from the plane are headed to restaurants and stores for consumers. The airline carries hundreds of thousands of pounds of Copper River salmon a year.

According to the Alaska Airlines Facebook page, Pat Donahue of Anthony’s Restaurants, Jason Wilson of Crush and Wayne A. Johnson of Ray’s Boathouse competed in this year’s Copper River Salmon Cook Off. And, according to the airline, for a third year in a row, Pat Donahue, executive chef of Anthony’s Restaurants won the cook-off and was named, ‘The Copper Chef’.

— Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. With contributions from tamacbsseattle.


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