The winners of the coveted food industry accolade ‘Best Ōra King Dish’ have been revealed during an official awards ceremony at Nelson’s Suter Art Gallery last night.

20 acclaimed chefs from North America, Australia and Japan, including this year’s international finalists, arrived in Nelson, New Zealand this week, for a once in a lifetime trip around the top of New Zealand’s South Island, home to Ōra King salmon.

Now in its sixth year, the annual Ōra King Awards (The Ōra’s) is one of the most prestigious highlights on the culinary calendar which recognises the outstanding creations of chefs around the world working with the best of breed Ōra King salmon, New Zealand King Salmon’s premium foodservice brand.

This year’s theme, ‘Inspired by Art’, challenged some of the world’s most brilliant chefs to take inspiration from a piece of artwork – across any medium – and craft an edible masterpiece worthy of the coveted food industry accolade ‘Best Ōra King Dish’. Global ambassadors were also acknowledged at the ceremony and thanked for their support and dedication to Ōra King.

The winner of the Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand is:

  • Mark McAllister – Private Chef, Auckland: “Salmon Solstice” inspired by Irish Megalithic Art.

The winner of the Best Ōra King Dish Australia is:

  • Michael Demagistris – Polperro Winery Restaurant, Red Hill, inspired by “Spiral Jetty” by Robert Smithson.

The winner of the Best Ōra King Dish North America is:

  • Johnathan Granada – Otium, Los Angeles: “Legacy” inspired by a photo collage in homage to Paul Bocuse and Anthony Bourdain.

The winner of the Best Ōra King Dish Japan is:

  • Naoki Nagai – All Day Dining Remone, Rihga Royal Hotel, Osaka: “Déclinaison de Ōra King – Anna Pavlova” inspired by Anna Pavlova’s “The Dying Swan”.

General Manager of Marketing at New Zealand King Salmon, Jemma McCowan comments on the surging use of Ōra King amongst the global chef network.

“Ōra King has strong relationships with chefs who demand high value from any ingredient that can stand the test of time in their restaurants. There are over 1400 restaurants around the world that serve Ōra King salmon on their menu, with 350 of these signing up this year”.

She says, “And with demand for our product strong, the awards have created the perfect opportunity to showcase how we nurture this rare and exclusive King salmon breed to visiting chefs. Over the last two days, they’ve seen where our salmon begin their lives at our freshwater facility near Te Waikoropupū Springs in Golden Bay – the base of our 20-year classical breeding program – and one of our Marlborough sea farms where the salmon acquire their distinctive taste of the ocean.”

More information on the winners of the Best Ōra King Dish Australia, North America and Japan will be available online at

2018 Ōra King Awards

The sixth annual Ōra King Awards (The Ōra’s) recognise outstanding contributions from chefs working with Ōra King – New Zealand King Salmon’s premium foodservice brand produced exclusively for fine dining restaurants in New Zealand and overseas. There are New Zealand, Australian, North American and Japanese citations for Best Ōra King Dish. The Best Ōra King Dish 2018 from each country was announced at the Ōra King Awards on 16 October in Nelson, New Zealand.

About Ōra King

Ōra King is best-of-breed king salmon developed specifically for the food service industry. Ōra King is the result of a commitment to quality founded on a classic breeding programme born in the top of New Zealand’s South Island two decades ago. All of the company’s husbandry and breeding, everything which Ōra King represents, is dedicated to the professional chef. It is the best of the best. Ōra King is to salmon as Wagyu is to beef.