Six young fish friers were named best in the UK this week, as part of the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards sponsored by Drywite and organised by fishing industry authority Seafish.
The first, second, and third winning places of the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award are to be announced at the 2016 awards ceremony at the Lancaster London hotel on 20 January 2016. The prize was developed to encourage younger people in the fish and chip industry to nurture their skills and talent.
The finalists are: Amy Horsley of Mister C's, Selby; Ryan Hughes of The Crispy Cod, Tonyrefill; James Houlston of Our Plaice, Kidderminster; Andrew Hillier of Harbourside Fish & Chips, Plymouth; George Papadamou of Papa's Fish & Chips, Hull; and Dino Papadamou of Papa's Fish & Chips, Warrington.
Each shortlisted frier was chosen after a series of judging rounds including telephone interviews and exam questionnaires, before being asked to complete a judging day at the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) Training School in Leeds. Friers were tasked with demonstrating their preparation and frying techniques, and then took part in personal interviews and assessments in front of four judging panels.
The finalists will now receive a mystery visit at their respective workplaces, and will also be asked to undergo another test of their skills and working knowledge before the winning places are finally chosen.
Richard Wardell, NFFF training and accreditation manager, and member of the judging panel of this award category, explained that the standard of the ten semi-finalists, from which the six finalists were chosen, had been very high.
He said: "Each candidate was a credit to themselves and the fish and chip industry, and it was great to be able to judge both those individuals who had entered the competition previously along with some new faces. Deciding who progressed to the final stage of the competition was once again a difficult task for the judging panel."
Paul Williams, chief executive of Seafish, congratulated all the finalists, and said: "The aim of the National Fish & Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses and individuals in the UK. It's so important that we recognise upcoming talent and applaud our young people for investing in our industry. This award is such an aspiration and to be shortlisted is a great achievement in itself."
Organised by Seafish, the annual National Fish & Chips Awards are now in their 28th year, and seek to recognise the highest standards of food and service within the UK's fish and chip sector.
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