The creativity of some of New Zealand’s finest chefs will be pushed to a whole new level over the course of the sixth annual Ōra King Awards. One of the most prestigious highlights on the culinary calendar, the Ōra King Awards (The Ōra’s) recognise the outstanding creations of chefs working with Ōra King salmon, New Zealand King Salmon’s premium foodservice brand.

The awards were launched at Wellington’s Logan Brown today (June 5), where the theme for this year’s competition was revealed: Inspired by Art. Chefs will be challenged to take inspiration from a piece of artwork – across any medium – and craft their interpretation of this on a plate.

Judge Lauraine Jacobs said the challenge will inspire chefs’ creativity and celebrate the importance of plate appeal.

“As the saying goes, ‘First, we eat with our eyes,’ so I can’t wait to see how our competing chefs will present their interpretations of this year’s theme,” she said. “Of course, I’m also very much looking forward to tasting these creations and discovering how each chef has used premium Ōra King salmon to execute their artistic vision.”

The Ōra King Awards see chefs from both New Zealand and around the world compete for one of four coveted titles.

Those awards are:

  • Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand
  • Best Ōra King Dish Australia
  • Best Ōra King Dish North America
  • Best Ōra King Dish Japan

Entries for the Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand award are now open and will remain until 31 July.

Chefs are required to submit their entry via a short online form at they will share information about their dish, including the chef’s inspiration and techniques used, as well as an image of their creation. That information will be used to select six semi-finalists by an external independent panel.

Judges Lauraine Jacobs and Geoff Scott will then travel the country to see and taste semi-finalist and finalist dishes, scoring them on creativity, taste, technique, the showcasing of Ōra King salmon, and how well the applicant has interpreted the Award’s challenge. Lauraine Jacobs will judge the semi-finalist dishes and Geoff Scott will judge the finalist dishes.

The competition finalists will be announced on 17 September. Those chefs will then be invited to the Ōra King Awards ceremony in Nelson on 16 October 2018, where the award winners will be revealed.

Terms and conditions for entry to The Ōra King Awards are available on the Ōra King website: