The deadline for the Seafish Restaurant of the Year 2018, run by The Caterer and Seafish UK, has been extended to 16 July.
Previous winners of the competition include Gamba in Glasgow in 2015, the Jetty, in Christchurch, Dorset, in 2016, and the Salt Room in Brighton, which holds the current title.
The competition is not exclusive to seafood-only restaurants, but has been launched to highlight the best use and knowledge of seafood, especially under-used products.
Restaurants do not have to have a standalone fish menu or exclusively offer fish and shellfish to be considered. Businesses are asked to focus on examples of excellent customer service, innovative ideas to drive sales of fish and shellfish, and evidence of varied species of fish and shellfish alongside sustainable policies and practices.
The 2017 judging panel included Derek Marshall, chef-owner of Gamba; Alex Aitken, chef-patron of the Jetty; Calum Richardson, owner of the Bay Fish and Chips in Aberdeenshire; Giovanna Grossi, AA group area manager; José Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College in London; and 2017 Catey Foodservice Caterer of the Year Paul Hurren, managing director of Lusso Catering.
Raz Helalat, owner of the Salt Room and Coal Shed Restaurants, said: “We were absolutely delighted to win the Seafish Restaurant of the Year trophy in 2017. We pride ourselves on only sourcing seafood from certified and responsible suppliers and the team love coming up with fun and innovative ways to cook and serve this amazing produce.
“Our seas are full of such a vast array of seafood and shellfish and we continue to educate and delight our customers, providing them with a unique seaside dining experience. Dave Mothersill, our head chef, is looking forward to being on the judging panel for this year’s competition and finding the 2018 winner.”
The overall winner and two team members of their choice will be invited on an all-expenses-paid study trip to Brixham, Devon, to learn about the catching, processing and supply of seafood from SouthWest England to other parts of the UK and will meet a range of key industry players and experience some of the world’s freshest and finest seafood.
The winning restaurant will also receive a bespoke trophy and an individually designed seafood masterclass at Billingsgate Seafood Training School with a guest chef. There is also a range of other prizes, including vouchers to be redeemed against cookery equipment and signed copies of cookery books.
Seafish, the authority on seafood in the UK, is a non-departmental public body set up to improve efficiency and raise standards across the seafood industry. Funded by a levy on the first sale of seafood products in the UK, including imported seafood, the organisation has a mission to secure a profitable and sustainable future for the UK seafood industry.
Andy Gray, trade marketing manager for Seafish, explained: “As consumers in the UK, we have a tendency to focus our seafood consumption on five main species – salmon, tuna, cod, haddock and prawns – and yet on any one day it is estimated that there is in excess of 100 different species of fish and shellfish available for consumers to purchase and enjoy in the UK; a veritable bounty from the seas.
The competition is open to all restaurants in the UK that include fish and shellfish on their menus, excluding those in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and the fish and shellfish may well be served alongside meat and special diet dishes on the menu.
The deadline for entries is 16 July 2018 and entries can be submitted via www.seafish.org/eating-seafood/seafood-restaurant-of-the-year-competition
Questions regarding the competition can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org