The final five shortlisted businesses of the 2016 Restaurant of the Year contest, run by The Caterer and Seafish UK, will be treated to the hospitality of chef Ben Murphy and his team, at The Woodford, in London, at the culmination of this year's competition.
Murphy is a multi-award winning competition chef, who lists a World Skills Gold Medal Crown (2011), Young National Chef of the Year award (2012) and five stars from The Sunday Times critic AA Gill among his achievements.
Representatives from the final five competitors Ondine, Edinburgh; One-O-One, London; Rockfish, Brixham; The Jetty, Christchurch and The Staith House, North Shields, Tyne & Wear will be invited to join competition judges and other invited guests for the awards presentation hosted in The Woodford's elegant Churchill Lounge.
The overall winner announced on the night, will receive an all-expenses-paid study trip to either Brixham in Devon or Peterhead for up to three members of the winner's restaurant, courtesy of Seafish UK. Shadowed by The Caterer, the trip will allow the winner to further hone their knowledge regarding the catching, processing, and supply of seafood, and to meet a range of key industry players and experience some of the world's freshest and tastiest seafood.
The winner will also receive a bespoke trophy for their restaurant and a seafood masterclass course at Billingsgate Seafood Training School. There will also be a range of other prizes, including vouchers to be redeemed against cookery equipment and signed copies of cookery books.
The judging panel included Derek Marshall, chef-owner of Gamba in Glasgow (and the winner of the Restaurant of the Year competition in 2015), José Souto, chef-lecturer in Culinary Arts, Westminster Kingsway College; Calum Richardson, proprietor of the Bay Fish & Chips, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire; Will Smith, restaurateur; Xavier Rousset, wine consultant and proprietor of restaurant Blandford Comptoir, in London's Marylebone and AA group area manager Giovanna Grossi.
Andy Gray, trade marketing manager at Seafish, said: "Making it to the top five of Seafood Restaurant of the Year is a great achievement for all of the finalists. It is recognition that they exhibit exceptionally high standards, excelling in providing customers with top quality fish and shellfish dining experiences."
Seafish UK is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) set up to improve efficiency and raise standards across the seafood industry, and is also the organiser of the National Fish & Chip Awards, launched in 1988. The awards have gone from strength to strength as more businesses develop fish and shellfish dishes on their menus.
The Restaurant of the Year competition was created to find restaurants demonstrating both excellent examples of cooking and serving of fish and shellfish, as well as evidence of fish and shellfish knowledge among its staff, both front and back of house.
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