Buckley smoked food entrepreneur wins “Best Smoked Salmon in Pacific Northwest”

Steve Shindel, founder of Steve's "Hot" Smoked Cheese & Salmon, won the title for "Best Smoked Salmon in the Pacific Northwest" at Salmon Tales Smoked Salmon Derby in Westport.

Buckley food entrepreneur Steve Shindel, founder of Steve’s  “Hot” Smoked Cheese & Salmon, won the title for “Best Smoked Salmon in the Pacific Northwest” at a state competition. Shindel won in the professional division of the Salmon Tales celebration’s Smoked Salmon Contest, Sept. 22 in Westport.

“Winning that honor was worth going down there,” Shindel said. “And I can use it for my business and advertising.”

He attributed the win to his use of kill-fresh salmon, a pre-smoke dry rub, and a refusal to brine or use liquid smoke.

This was the official first year of the Westport Salmon Tales festival, dedicated to the waterside city’s history of fishing.

Shindel has smoked cheese and salmon for five decades, but he made it a full-time business in the past decade. He has five contractors working with him, and his products are distributed to stores and restaurants in 17 states. He just introduced a jalapeno cheese.

He can be reached at 253-632-5537 or oldsmokey05@msn.com.

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