Bullwhip Hot Sauce takes top honors

Kelp expands its image in creative seafood competition

Keith Singleton, left, with Scott Sandvig of Alaskan Leader Seafoods, celebrating their two awards at the 2020 Alaska Symphony of Seafood Awards Ceremony in Juneau for their Wild Alaska Cod Fish & Chips Meal Kit. Alaskan Leader brought home the Seattle People’s Choice award and second place in the Retail category this year. Photo by Riley Smith, Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation.

Kelp established itself as a force to reckon with at the 2020 Alaska Symphony of Seafood, as the number one ingredient in a hot sauce that swept away the grand prize, plus first place in retail and the Juneau People’s Choice.

Barnacle Foods in Juneau used bull kelp as the major ingredient for their Bullwhip Hot Sauce, which they describe as having a deep umami (savory) flavor.

“When kelp is paired with piri piri pepper, tomatoes and fresh garlic the delicious flavor makes you want to put this sauce on everything,” the company commented, upon learning they had won the grand prize. “The Alaska kelp industry is on an exciting trajectory and these awards showcase that we can make really delicious foods out of kelp.

The Alaska Symphony of Seafood Encourages all seafood processors to prioritize innovation in product development. At Barnacle Foods, we will continue to develop new products which showcase the flavors of Alaska Kelp.”

Indeed four of the 20 entries into this year’s competition were made from seaweed, demonstrating new markets for growing seaweed in Alaska.

Kelp, a large brown seaweed, which is being grown commercially in increasing amounts in Alaska, is already known for its health benefits, from enhancing bone density to cancer prevention. Now its attraction is growing as an ingredient in gourmet seafood.


“We are very excited for all the winners which demonstrate remarkable quality and are poised to be successful in the marketplace,” said Julie Decker, executive director of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, which hosts the annual competition, along with a number of sponsors connected to the seafood industry. While some finalists were announced late last year, AFDF presented all awards on Feb. 24, during the Symphony’s legislative gala in Juneau.

First place winners in each category and the grand prize winner receive booth space in Boston in March at the Seafood Expo North American, plus entry into the national new product competition and roundtrip airfare to the show from Alaska Air Cargo.

While Bullwhip Hot Sauce picked up the People’s Choice honors in Juneau, Wild Alaska Cod Fish & Chips Meal Kit by Alaskan Leaders Seafoods took those honors during the Symphony’s Seattle gala.

In retail competition behind first place Bullwhip Hot Sauce, Wild Alaska Cod Fish and & Chips Meal Kit took second place, and Sea Asparagus Pesto by Foraged & Found placed third.

Alaska Wild Wings-Southern Style, by High Liner Foods took top honors in foodservice competition, followed by Alaskan Kombu Seaweed from Blue Evolution and Salmon Dumplings, a product of Tai Foong USA.

Alaskan Fish Skin Jewelry by WILD by Nature placed first among Beyond The Plate entries, with Pescadots, by Drool Central: A Mum & Pup Barkery, in second place.

Major sponsors of the 2020 event were Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Lineage Logistics, Trident Seafoods, Marine Stewardship Council, Northwest Fisheries Association, Alaska Air Cargo and the At-Sea Processors Association.