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Disney Signature Chef Andrew Sutton, Anaheim, CA and Tyler Wiard, Culinary Director of Elway’s, Denver, CO

Gold River, B.C. (April 21, 2014) — The Celebrity Chef Judges at this year’s Skuna Bay Kentucky Derby Chef Challenge Final are no strangers to culinary competition. Chef Tyler Wiard, Culinary Director of Elway’s in Colorado was a chef competitor in 2013’s Top Chef Seattle while Chef Andrew Sutton, Disney Signature Chef in Anahaim, CA made it to the inaugural Skuna Bay Kentucky Derby Chef Challenge Final in 2013 before being edged out by winner Carlo Lamagna of Perennial Virant. This year both chefs, leaders in the culinary field, will be on the other side of the table, judging the efforts of the two finalists at this year’s Kentucky Derby: Chefs Sarah Schafer of Irving Street Kitchen in Portland, OR and Edward Sura of Perennial Virant in Chicago, IL. Both Judges will also feature their own Skuna Bay Salmon creations at the Taste of Derby, the Kentucky Derby culinary event on May 1.

“We are excited and gratified to have as judges, the participation of two great chefs who are well known as culinary leaders,” said Head Farmer Stewart Hawthorn of Skuna Bay Salmon. “We felt strongly that as our two finalists have put their heart and souls on the line in getting to the Finals, it was incumbent on us to secure the perfect judges, chefs who have been in competition before and who have the strongest reputations for excellence. In addition, both judges have a strong familiarity with Skuna Bay Salmon and its versatility so that was important. It helps that both have visited our farms in person to see the process for themselves.”

Chef Andrew Sutton has been the Executive Chef and Disney Signature Chef at the Grand California Resort’s Napa Rose since 2000 and in 2013 opened Carthay Circle, also on the Disney property. Accolades for Chef Sutton include "2002's Best New Restaurant" by Zagat Survey as well as Food & Wine Magazine's June 2002 "Best New Wine List" in the country and “2004 Chef of the Year” by the Southern California Restaurant Writers (SCRW). Now Culinary Director over four Elway’s locations, Chef Tyler has garnered numerous accolades including critical acclaim in nearly all of Denver’s print publications, multiple television appearances and even a feature in Food Network chef’s Paula Deen Magazine. For five consecutive years, Tyler has returned to cook at the prestigious James Beard House. Tyler beat out 22 other chefs from across the country to take top prize in the 19th Annual Taste of Elegance, a national competition sponsored by the National Pork Board. Tyler was nominated by national non-profit Share Our Strength for their Chef of the Year Award in 2013.

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 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 now 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.