The semi-finalists for the 2019 Ōra King Awards have been announced, including two hotel chefs.

Inspired by the theme of 'Sustain', entrants were challenged to create a dish incorporating Ōra King salmon that told their own story of sustainability.

"Sustainability is crucial to everything we do at Ōra King and indeed is central to the whole food industry," said Anne-Marie Friis, New Zealand King Salmon's marketing manager of foodservice.

"This year’s theme inspired chefs to showcase their personal experience with the topic and we saw a real range of dishes coming through. We were delighted to see several entrants used Ōra King from nose to tail in their dishes and in very interesting and creative ways."

The semi-finalists for the Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand are:

  • Phil Clark - Phil's Kitchen, Auckland
  • Mark Diu - Avon Valley Lodge, Blenheim
  • Mark McAllister - Private Chef, Auckland
  • Antony Page - 50 Bistro at The George Hotel, Christchurch
  • Chetan Pangam - One80 Restaurant, Wellington
  • Makoto Tokuyama - Cocoro, Auckland

Each New Zealand semi-finalist will be visited by chef Geoff Scott and restaurant critic Lauraine Jacobs. Chefs will be able to share the inspiration behind each dish and answer the judges' questions.

Three finalists will be announced on September 16 and flown to the Nelson-Marlborough region for a four-day celebration from 13-17 October. The Ōra King Awards ceremony will take place on October 15.