The top 10 shortlisted restaurants for the 2017 Restaurant of the Year competition have been revealed.
Organised by The Caterer in partnership with Seafish UK the competition was created to find restaurants demonstrating both excellent examples of the cooking and serving of fish and shellfish, as well as evidence of fish and shellfish knowledge among their staff both front and back of house.
The 10 finalist are:
• Wright Brothers, Spitalfields
• The Idle Rocks, Cornwall
• The Kilted Lobster
• The Old Boat House
• Rockfish, Brixham
• Rocksalt, Folkestone
• The Salt Room, Brighton
• The Staith House, North Shields
• The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye
• Ninth Wave, Isle of Mull
Last year’s winner, The Jetty in Christchurch, Dorset was recognised for its forward-thinking and passionate chef-patron, Alex Aitken, its location, and its responsibly sourced fish.
Aitken, joining the panel of judges for this year’s competition, said: “This competition made us polish our performance and the entry process definitely keeps you on your toes. When I sit and judge – I will be looking for a restaurant at the top of their game.”
The 2017 judging panel also includes Derek Marshall, chef-owner of Gamba, winner of the 2015 Restaurant of the Year; restaurateur Will Smith; Calum Richardson, owner of the Bay Fish and Chips in Aberdeenshire; Giovanna Grossi, AA advisor and ambassador, José Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College, London and Paul Hurren, managing director, Lusso Catering.
The shortlisted restaurants will now be visited by a ‘mystery shopper’ appointed by Seafish UK in the next couple of weeks. The Seafish UK auditors will perform a detailed visit to each business including a mystery tasting of product. The scores from the visit stage will be added to the scores from the initial entry form judging, which will determine the top five finalists.
The final five finalists will be announced in September with the winner announced soon after. The winning businesses will receive a bespoke trophy for their restaurant and an individually designed seafood masterclass at Billingsgate Seafood Training School with a guest chef. There will also be a range of other prizes including vouchers to be redeemed against cookery equipment and signed copies of cookery books.
Andy Gray, trade marketing manager for Seafish, said: “The Restaurant of the Year competition provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the wide range of restaurants, pubs and cafés that are excelling in providing customers with top quality fish and shellfish dining experiences.”
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