Interview - Jenny Kantorovich - Alaskan Crab Co
Like anyone who has watched the fast-paced reality TV show ‘The Deadliest Catch’, we were intrigued to learn more about a local company who is bringing the succulent Alaskan King Crab to our dinner tables. And we were delighted to learn that not only does the Alaskan Crab Co import the delicacy, but they’re also out there in the Bering Sea catching it! What we discovered from speaking with Jenny Kantorovich, Sales & Marketing Manager is that this Australian company is going the extra nautical mile out at sea and processing the product on the boat for the ultimate in texture and flavour preservation.
FFW: Jenny, what are Alaskan Crab Co’s origins?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: After decades of working with Australian poultry processing and distribution, we thought it was time to bring our offshore fishing operation to our home town.
FFW: So you don’t just sell premium seafood; you’ve also been right there at the coalface, so to speak, doing the fishing yourselves?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: Yes, we own and operate fishing vessels in the Bering Sea. Similar to the wild scenes you’ve seen on TV shows like ‘The Deadliest Catch’, but with one significant difference. We catch, cook and clean the crab on board, ensuring it is snap-frozen in its freshest form.
FFW: Do you think TV shows like The Deadliest Catch have raised the awareness of Alaskan king crabs? Has it had a run-off effect on your business?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: It has definitely sparked curiosity amongst otherwise conservative palates. Once you taste Alaskan King crab meat, it’s difficult to go back to eating other types of crab. It truly lives up to its reputation as King of the Sea.
FFW: What are the differences between Alaskan king crabs and local mud or sand crabs?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: Due to its large size, the meat from the Alaskan King crab is chunky, juicy and full of flavour. It is also very easy to remove the meat from its shell (unlike its local crab cousins) because it has a very thin shell. This also means you get more bang for your buck, i.e. less shell and more crabmeat.
FFW: How would you describe the flavour and texture of these northern, cold water crabs?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: Alaskan King crab is extremely high in protein (with zero fat) so it has a juicy, meaty ‘fresh open sea’ taste to it.
FFW: In addition to the crabs, you also offer quite an extensive range of other premium wholesale seafoods; can you tell us about those?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: We import a premium Russian Osetra black caviar that is surprisingly well priced. Also a big range of both local and imported prawns, scallops, scampi and of course our crab products – Crab Ravioli, Crab Cakes, Wild Salmon Fish Cakes, Crab Dip, three types of crab meats, etc.
FFW: Your products are available for retail and foodservice; what kinds of retailers are ideal to stock your seafoods?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: Delis, fish shops, anyone who wants to sell premium products in their fridges/ freezers.
FFW: As for foodservice, do you feel more education is needed to introduce chefs to the delights of Alaskan king crabs and other delicacies you provide? Or are they already quite well embraced?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: We are both pleased and grateful to have an impressive list of chefs, hotels, restaurants and caterers who are regular buyers.
FFW: What would you say to retailers and foodservice operators considering stocking Alaskan king crab products, Black Caviar and other exotic delights?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: Do not underestimate your customer. They know a good thing when they see it.
FFW: How do you assist your clients in determining which products to stock and how to promote them to their customers?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: Sampling, tastings, recipe cards, and signage.
FFW: Can you tell us about the quality virtues of your products?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: 100% wild (not farmed) natural product caught and processed under strict hygiene and quality control. It is cooked as soon as it’s caught, in the very sea water it comes from. Absolutely no additives or preservatives are added at any stage. Blast frozen at sea and sashimi graded.
FFW: What are the benefits your clients enjoy by dealing with Alaskan Crab Co?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: We are a small family run business, and we view our clients as an extension of that family.
FFW: Are there any exciting new developments on the horizon for Alaskan Crab Co that you can divulge?
ALASKAN CRAB CO: Look out for a new range of Ready-to-Eat products which we have specifically developed for retailers.