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Original 30 Chef Competitors Pared Down to 10: Two Kentucky Derby Chef Finalists to be Chosen April 15th in Chicago, April 18th in Los Angeles

Gold River, B.C. (April 5, 2013) — Nine grueling first round competitions pitted 30 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 2, 2013. 10 chefs emerged and now advance to the two semi-final competitions in Chicago on April 15 and Los Angeles on April 18.

The list of 10 semi-finalist chefs:

Eric Larcom, Downtown Calgary Marriott Riley Romanin, Hooked, Vail, CO Andrew Sutton, Napa Rose at Grand Californian Resort and Spa, Anaheim, CA Ken Fazel, Tender at Luxor, Las Vegas, NV Tedd Romero, Lucy at Bardessono Hotel, Yountville, CA Carlo Lamagna, Perennial Virant, Chicago Jason Benegasi, Biba, Pittsburgh Anthony Sasso, Casa Mono, NYC Nick Cataldo, Lure Fishhouse, NYC David Yusefzadeh, Smack Shack

A photo, bio and description of each chef’s dish can be found at

“The judges had a difficult enough time selecting the original 30 competing chefs – judging the winner at each of the nine 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 10 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 30 were selected to compete. Nine different first round competitions were held in Vancouver, Orange County, Napa Valley, Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago, Denver and Minneapolis, 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 Chicago on April 15 at College of Dupage and April 18 at Drago Centro in Los Angeles. The winner at each of those two competitions advance to the Kentucky Derby final competition May 1 at Sullivan Culinary Institute in Louisville, Kentucky. The winner will be named May 2 at the Taste of Derby, Kentucky Derby culinary experience and will be recognized nationally in a two-page spread in Saveur Magazine. To assist each finalist as they prepare for their final competition, they will be paired with a Mentor Chef – two of America’s top chefs, both well known for as leaders in the culinary profession and finalists at this year’s James Beard Awards. The two Mentor Chefs will be announced later in April.

Skuna Bay Salmon was selected by the Kentucky Derby as the Salmon of Choice at this year’s 139th race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. To date, Skuna Bay Salmon is advocated 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, Roy Ellamar of Sensi at Bellagio in Las Vegas, Tyler Wiard of Elways in Denver, Ed Brown of Ed’s Chowderhouse in New York and Randy Waidner, Executive Chef for Gibsons in Chicago. Recently Skuna Bay was selected as Salmon of Choice by the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs. For more information, please visit Follow Skuna Bay on Twitter at @SkunaBay.