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Original 28 Chef Competitors Pared Down to 8: Two Kentucky Derby Chef Finalists to be Chosen April 14th in Louisville, April 15th in Los Angeles

Gold River, B.C. (April 10, 2014) — Eight grueling first round competitions pitted 28 chefs head to head in the kitchen, preparing their best Skuna Bay Salmon dish – for a chance to continue along the path to ultimately represent Skuna Bay Salmon at the Taste of Derby, the Kentucky Derby culinary experience in Louisville, KY on May 1, 2014. 8 chefs won to advance to the two semi-finals in Louisville on April 14 and Los Angeles on April 15.

The 8 semi-finalist chefs:

 Sarah Schafer, Irving Street Kitchen, Portland, OR: Advanced at Seattle event held at Pike Place Market on April 2, 2014

 Lon Symensma, ChoLon Bistro, Denver, CO: Advanced at Denver event held at Metro State University on March 24, 2014

 Tedd Romero, Lucy at Bardessono Hotel, Yountville, CA: Advanced at Napa event held at Bardessono Hotel on March 19, 2014

 Eric Samantiego, Little Sparrow Café, Santa Ana, CA: Advanced at Los Angeles event held at Orange County Culinary on April 8, 2014

 Edward Sura, Perennial Virant, Chicago, IL: Advanced at Chicago event held at College of Dupage on April 7, 2014

 Charles Vogt, Mussel Bar & Grill, Atlantic City, NJ: Advanced at Philadelphia event held at Samuel’s & Son Seafood on April 8, 2014

 Alan Dancyger, 2West at The Ritz Carlton Hotel, New York, NY: Advanced at NYC event held at Google Headquarters on April 4, 2014

 Alan Peet, Isabela’s on Grandview, Pittsburgh, PA: Advanced at Pittsburgh event held at EFD Associates on April 2, 2014

A photo and bio of each chef can be found at

“The judges had a difficult enough time selecting the original 28 competing chefs – judging the winner at each of the eight competitions was sometimes a knife-edge decision. The dishes were unique, innovative and celebrated the salmon – spectacular! We are excited to see what the remaining 8 chefs do in their next head to head battles,” said Dave Mergle, Director at Skuna Bay Salmon. “It is exciting knowing that two of these great chefs will represent our salmon at this year’s Taste of Derby at the Kentucky Derby in Louisiville.”

The Skuna Bay Salmon Chef Challenge was developed to involve chefs from around America and connect them to the Kentucky Derby partnership where Skuna Bay was selected as Salmon of Choice. Chefs were invited to enter their best Skuna Bay Salmon dish at and from there 28 were selected to compete. Eight different first round competitions were held in Seattle, Orange County, Napa Valley, Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia, with each chef having 90 minutes to fillet their salmon, prepare their dish and present it to the judges. The winning chef at each event moved on to the upcoming semi-finals in Louisville on April 14 at Sullivan University Culinary Arts School and April 15 at Roy’s Pasadena in Los Angeles. The winner at each of those two competitions advance to the Kentucky Derby final competition April 30 at Sullivan Culinary Institute in Louisville, Kentucky. The winner will be named that night at a special event at Churchill Downs immediately following the Chairman’s Draw Party and will be recognized nationally in Saveur Magazine. Judging at the Final event will be two of America’s top chefs, both well known as leaders in the culinary profession. The two Chef Judges will be announced later in April.

Skuna Bay Salmon was selected by the Kentucky Derby as the Salmon of Choice at this year’s 140th race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. To date, Skuna Bay Salmon is used by well-known chefs from across America including Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja and Euclid Hall in Denver, Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat in Chicago, Jonathan Sawyer of Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, Dan Kluger of ABC Cucina in New York, Tyler Wiard of Elways in Denver, Ed Brown of Ed’s Chowderhouse in New York and Randy Waidner, Executive Chef for Gibsons in Chicago. For more information, please visit Follow Skuna Bay on Twitter at @SkunaBay.