Direct Seafoods steps up skills training and chef support
Direct Seafoods is increasing the support it offers chefs from all its eight regional fishmongers around the UK, as well as launching a new internal skills training programme for its own teams.
The award-winning business is stepping up support in recognition of the importance of fish and seafood dishes in helping operators to boost menu appeal to cautious consumers in a challenging trading environment.
Spearheading the drive is Neil Poxon, who joined Direct Seafoods as operations support manager at the start of the year. Bringing 40 years of experience in the seafood industry to the role, Poxon said: "The fishmongers at each of our depots have a huge depth of skills and experience, but it's now more important than ever that we give all the support we can to our customers, who are the chefs, restaurateurs, and caterers at the sharp end of the economy."
He added: "Our network of depots means that we can work closely with individual chefs and small groups at a local level, to offer menu advice and prepare fish and seafood to their requirements, as well as support national customers through the Direct Seafoods network.
"From traditional fish and chips to a gastropub moules-frites, and from a prawn cocktail to a prime fish fillet special in a Michelin-starred restaurant, consumers love to see fresh, sustainable fish and seafood on menus."
Poxon has established a five-tier skills matrix, starting at one for entry level, up to five for the highest skilled team members, to formalise skills training and progression for Direct Seafoods' 100 fishmongers throughout the business.
Alongside in-house skills training, Direct Seafoods has also relaunched its programme of masterclasses and training session for chefs across all its depots. The focus for both in-house training and chef sessions is on the practical skills needed to prepare, cook and present a broad range of fish and seafood, as well as on ensuring menus fully factor in sustainability issues.