The Ora King Awards are back for 2016 and with that comes the creation of innovative dishes such as gin cured salmon belly, brown-spiced sugar salmon, raw confit of salmon and tomato cured salmon.

The finalists for the Best Ora King Dish New Zealand award have been announced with chefs from Auckland, Wellington and Featherston making the final four. Now in its fourth year, the annual Ora King Awards recognises outstanding contributions from chefs working with Ora King salmon.

Finalists include Jinu Abraham from Hector’s Restaurant at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland. His dish consists of raw confit of Ora King salmon, with yacon and apple slaw, caramelised cauliflower puree, avocado wasabi and coconut vanilla crumbs with pickled onions.

The competition is not complete until each of the four finalists’ dishes are re-judged by industry experts Geoff Scott and Anna-King Shahab.

“Entries have been whittled down from 63, and the Ora King judges have spent the past four weeks visiting ten semi-finalist restaurants from around the country to get to our final four,” said New Zealand King Salmon general manager marketing Jemma McCowan.

Winners will be announced mid-October.