The 3rd Annual Seattle Poke Contest took place on Monday, August 21st at The Stone House Cafe in Seattle. Hosted by Sam Choy’s Poke To The Max, Seattle’s largest poke event has started to become an event you won’t want to miss out on! The contest, originally created in 2015, gathers numerous chefs together from the Pacific Northwest to share their own personal interpretation on a Hawaiian classic, poke. In a friendly competition, winners are decided by a panel of judges to see which poke is the best in town!
For this year’s charitable event, all of the proceeds went directly to The Bennett Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Michael Bennett, a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks. The organization helps to combat and prevent childhood obesity in the local community.
Altogether, there were a total of 12 contestants that competed for a chance to win: Best Presentation, Best Overall Taste, Most Creative, and Crowd Favorite.
The contestants include: Chef Steven Ariel (Trace), Chefs Han Ly Hwang & BJ Smith (SmokeHouse Tavern), Chef Sal Panelo (Seattle Fish Guys), Chef John Howie (Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar), Chef Jeriel Calamayan (Poke Wai), Chef Dean Shinagawa (Kama’aina Grindz), Chef Bayley Le (Go Poke), Chef Cameron Hanin (Ma’ono), Chef Charles Celestial (Japonessa), Chef Jason Velasquez (Ikina Sushi), Chef Varin Keokitvon (Heartwood Provisions), and Chef Christopher Windus (HMS Host).
- Best Presentation: Chef Bayley Le (Go Poke)
- Best Overall Taste: Chef John Howie (Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar)
- Most Creative: Chef Cameron Hanin (Ma’ono)
- Crowd Favorite: Chef Varin Keokitvon (Heartwood Provisions)
By the end of the night, guests got to taste some of the best poke Seattle had to offer while taking in the views of Lake Washington nearby. The judges’ panel, which included Michael Bennett, provided a memorable experience on a night filled with live entertainment, crafted cocktails, and delicious poke! Together, everyone made this charitable event a success!