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Group hopes to develop England's taste for Alaska seafood with pop-up restaurant

Sean Doogan

A pop-up restaurant will open for one day in London later this month in hopes of increasing demand for Alaska seafood across the pond. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute -- a public-private partnership of the State of Alaska and the local seafood industry -- said it is joining a UK-based public relations firm in sponsoring the pop-up. The restaurant will be built to mimic Nome, Alaska, in 1899, during the city's gold rush days.

Actors will portray people who lived, thrived, and in many cases, went bust during Nome's heyday. Live gold-panning demonstrations, treasure hunts, and stories about life in Nome before the turn of the 20th century will be among the entertainment at the event.

Fine-dining chefs from London restaurants like Moro, Bocca Di Lupo and St. John will also prepare fresh Alaska seafood for guests. The chefs will also conduct salmon smoking, curing and processing classes during the restaurant's one-day opening. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute said it is contributing about $60,000 for the event and expects ticket sales -- about $25 for a day visit and $94 for a full dinner -- will offset some of the event's costs.

"The number of species sold in UK is pretty limited, and we think there is room for some expansion," said Alexa Tonkovich, ASMI's international program director.

Tonkovich said that while Alaska red and pink salmon are commonly sold throughout the United Kingdom, ASMI wanted to popularize other salmon species and flatfish among British consumers.

The one-day-only pop-up restaurant will open on June 21 at Pimlico Gardens in London.

Reach Sean Doogan at sean@alaskadispatch.com


SEAN DOOGAN
sean@alaskadispatch.com