The fourth Annual Juneau Maritime Festival was held May 19 with live entertainment, free fish and activities, over 50 exhibits and multiple maritime-themed contests.
Back again for 2013 was the popular Wild Alaskan Marinade Contest, where contestants’ signature fish marinades were prepared with sockeye salmon then grilled by festival grill masters and tasted by a panel of culinary judges. This year’s marinade contest was won by Matthew Barnaby with entry “Frozen Tropics.” Honorable mention was Scott Cramlet with entry “Spicy Jerk.”
New this year was The Smok’n Hot Alaska Salmon Dip Contest organized by the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership and inspired by locals who, this time of year, find creative ways to use up salmon in their freezers to make room for this year’s catch. Jeremy LaPierre’s entry “Gomer’s Dip” took first prize and honorable mention went to Katy Prussing with “Independent Republic of Douglas’ Last Year’s Freezer Burned Salmon Dip.”
Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership and Southeast Beer Week challenged Juneau restaurants to craft a winning pairing of signature dish to be paired with Alaskan Amber Beer. Top prize for the contest, Salmon and Beer on the Pier, was awarded to The Rookery and Chef Beau Schooler’s creation “Complimentary Tote Bag With Every Purchase.”
The esteemed panel of culinary judges included Rachael Juzeler, Lindsay Campbell, Blue Schibler, Collette Costa, John DeCherney, Stephanie Marnon and previous Wild Alaska Marinade champion, Courtney Mico-Nelson. Most of the winning recipes will be available soon on the Juneau Maritime Festival website at juneaumaritimefestival.org.
Always a premier attraction at the festival is the Fillet Challenge, a fast-paced competition showing off expert knife skills on sockeye salmon. This year’s winner was Joel Ribao, scoring highest on a combination of speed and quality, as well as weight of meat recovered. Fillet Challenge judges included last year’s winner Scott Perkins of Jerry’s Meats & Seafoods and Dick Hand of Alaska Seafood Co. Fish for the challenge and for all samples was generously donated by Alaska Glacier Seafood Co. and Taku Fisheries & Smokeries.
Another fresh addition to the 2013 Juneau Maritime Festival was the Taku Fisheries & Smokeries Fish Tote Race, where commercial fish totes were used as unconventional rowboats to compete for the fastest time in the Gastineau Channel. The team of Rob Sutak and Nathan Giske topped the field of eight teams competing.
The final competition of the day was the Cruise Line Tug o’ War, where teams of eight competed for brawn on the dock with a thick cruise ship tie-up line. City and Borough of Juneau Docks & Harbors defended their territory on the waterfront and won this year’s trophy, donated by Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska.
The Juneau Economic Development Council actively promotes the Juneau Maritime Festival each year with the help of a dedicated group of local citizens and organizations. JEDC wishes to thank volunteers, planning partners, vendors, contestants, judges and sponsors for their support of this community event.