In partnership with Trout Unlimited Alaska, chefs from Turkey Red - a popular Palmer, Alaska, restaurant, that specializes in local, sustainable foods - prepared hundreds of tasty Bristol Bay salmon morsels at the Alaska State Fair in August. The free salmon giveaway was the latest in a series of Savor Bristol Bay events sponsored by Trout Unlimited Alaska. Scores of fairgoers gobbled up the salmon bites as they learned about the serious environmental threats the salmon face from the proposed Pebble mine and how they can get involved in protecting the Bristol Bay.
TU staff, joined by many volunteers, including Bristol Bay commercial fisherman, Loren Kroon, handed out grilled sockeye with fennel, spinach salad and olive tapenade, a creation by Chef Jerry Duran of Turkey Red. The sockeye came from the Nushagak, a famed salmon river that flows downstream from the Pebble deposit.
"It's important to be involved. I have a stake in what happens in Bristol Bay. I've been fishing there for 28 years now," said Kroon. "It's also fun to connect people with the fish and watch their responses once they taste it."
Kroon, who enthusiastically shook hands with people and handed out informational material about Bristol Bay, said it was cool to see how the public wants to learn more and get involved in stopping the Pebble project from going forward. He was also surprised that so many people picked up Trout Unlimited's salmon recipe cards."It fun to see them connect with the recipes. I really liked that," he said. Chef Duran said he's a strong advocate for healthy, local food and that's why it's a no-brainer for him to do what he can to speak out for Bristol Bay salmon. "I'm all about protecting our wild salmon and I was happy to help Trout Unlimited with this event," Duran said.