The hotly contested global Ora King Awards saw last year’s Best Ora King Dish International winner Elijah Holland emerge as the 2016 Best Ora King Ambassador International.

Chefs from the USA, Australia and all over New Zealand attended the awards lunch, and were treated to a salmon extravaganza prepared by three of last years’ winners, Thomas Barta from Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill, Elijah Holland of Nature’s Pick and Nick Honeyman from Paris Butter.

“We’ve seen some remarkable creativity and flair with all of the entries this year,” said New Zealand King Salmon general manager marketing, Jemma McCowan, “Location and seasonality has played a part alongside the entrant’s own experience and cuisine background – in the USA and Queensland, we’ve seen lighter heartier styles.”

A new Ambassador award introduced for the first time this year, Te Pukenga Matua, was given to Matt Lambert. A three-time consecutive winner of the Best Ora King Ambassador International award and founder of Michelin-starred New York restaurant The Musket Room, the award acknowledges Lambert’s outstanding contributors to Ora King salmon since its 2011 launch. Other winners revealed at the awards held at The Nelson Club were: Chetan Pangam, One80 Degrees Restaurant, Wellington for Best Ora King Ambassador New Zealand, Mark Bashinsky, Aria in Brisbane for Best Ora King Dish Australia and the Best Ora King Dish USA went to Nathan Gould from O Ya in Boston.