Sen. Mark Begich selecting the halibut fillet at New Sagaya in Anchorage.
As you may recall, Dominos Pizza made some waves last week with a few Alaskans over its latest “Powered by Pizza” television commercial, which included this tidbit.
“No one’s coming up with a world-changing idea over halibut. No way.”
Alaska Senator Mark Begich was quick to respond, releasing a tongue-in-cheek list of some great historical events that were accomplished over halibut, such as the signing of the U.S. Constitution, the writing of the Gettysburg Address and landing on the moon. None of which are true, of course, but Begich thinks humor delivers the message effectively.
“You know at the end of the day you know sometimes you’ve got to use a little humor, a little fun to get your point across. And this one I think will. I think it will show we’ve got a great product. When it comes to Alaska halibut we’re known around the world. The finest restaurants in the country serve our food, and for them not consider it as a product to be utilized in their pizzas, I think would be a mistake. But if they don’t, they don’t, but at least don’t dis our fish.”
In Anchorage during a break in Congress, Begich said he got another idea to send the message to Dominos that Alaska halibut shouldn’t be the butt of jokes. He sent a fresh halibut fillet to J. Patrick Doyle, the CEO of Domino’s Pizza in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“So we went and got some fresh right over there at New Sagaya. In Anchorage, there’s lots of places to go to, that was where we literally I was next to when I got the idea. I said, ‘Let’s go there, they might have some,’ and of course they did, and they shipped it out. I believe it went out today. So they flash-freezed it so to keep it as fresh as possible.”
In the letter Begich sent with the halibut fillet he admitted that Alaskans sometimes do have dinner that comes in a flat cardboard box, but he pointed out that halibut, and indeed all Alaska seafood, might be a bit healthier.
“You know it has a little humor, but it’s a serious issue of our fish product and making sure people understand the value of it. And also that it is healthy, it’s a great product, it’s sustainable. And that’s a good thing for us, and we’ll see what the Domino’s president says.”
Begich said it’d be great if Domino’s went on to develop a halibut pizza, and he looks forward to talking with Doyle and sending him some recipe ideas submitted to his Facebook page.