The final shortlist for the Restaurant of the Year competition, organised by The Caterer in partnership with Seafish UK, has been unveiled following a judging session at the Punch Bowl in Mayfair, London, last week.
The five restaurants, which range from Cornwall to the Isle of Mull, pride themselves on their use and knowledge of fish and shellfish, and were chosen from a longer list of 10 selected restaurants visited by a mystery judge, a Seafish-appointed auditor, last month.
The top five shortlisted businesses (in alphabetical order) are:
The Restaurant of the Year competition, organised by The Caterer in partnership with Seafish UK, 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.
Competition judges 2015 Restaurant of the Year winner Derek Marshall, chef-owner of Gamba in Glasgow; Alex Aitken, chef-patron of the Jetty Restaurant in Christchurch and winner of the 2016 title; Calum Richardson, owner of the Bay Fish and Chips in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire; Giovanna Grossi, AA advisor and ambassador; José Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College London; and Catey winner Paul Hurren, managing director of Lusso Catering, were determined to find a top five that reflected the very best service of seafood across the UK.
The top five will now be contacted by the organisers and presented with their certificates and logos, with the ultimate winner announced in October.
The winning business will receive an all expenses paid trip to the fishing docks of Brixham, where they will have the opportunity to extend their knowledge of the catching, processing and supply of seafood, a bespoke trophy for their restaurant, an individually designed seafood masterclass at Billingsgate Seafood Training School with a guest chef and a range of other prizes, including vouchers to be redeemed against cookery equipment and signed copies of cookery books.
Amanda Afiya, editor of The Caterer, commented: “This year’s judging day was challenging. The judges had to choose between 10 restaurants that all have extremely high standards. The final five demonstrate great service, species knowledge and clearly inspire other restaurants in the UK who have an ambition to sell more fish and shellfish on their menus. We’re delighted that the shortlist showcases great restaurants – and delicious seafood-inspired dishes – operating the length and breadth of the UK.”
Andy Gray, trade marketing manager for Seafish UK, 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 and it’s encouraging for us at Seafish UK to see such a wide range of businesses coming through to the final.”
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