Six up-and-coming young friers have been shortlisted for the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award at the 2015 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
The shortlisted six from across the UK are: Kat Deuchars of John Dorys, Belfast; Amy Grimwood of Mister C’s, Selby, North Yorkshire; Ryan Hughes of The Crispy Cod Fish Bar, Tonyrefail, South Wales; James Hulston of Our Plaice, Stourbridge, West Midlands; Jonathan Leech of Garstang Fish & Chips, Garstang, Lancashire and Rachel Tweedale of The Elite Fish & Chip Company, Sleaford, Lincolnshire.
To get to this stage in the competition the contestants have taken part in a gruelling judging process with the top 10 contestants participating in a rigorous test day at the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) Training School in Leeds, Yorkshire. The 10 shortlisted friers displayed preparation and fish and chip frying techniques as well as undergoing personal skills based tests in front of four separate judging panels.
Celebrating the best young fish friers across the country, The Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award encourages young friers to nurture their individual skills and talent to become positive role models for the industry.
Briar Wilkinson, Sales Director at Drywite Ltd, said: “The Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award was originally founded in 1995 by the directors of Drywite Limited, myself and Kelvin Lee, in memory of our late father, Malcolm Lee, who always had a passion for encouraging young people to succeed.
“He would be so proud of the high-standards that have been set due to this award and the aspiring young individuals who consistently strive to achieve greatness. It is vital to support our next generation of fish and chip enthusiasts, our industry relies on their passion and dedication.
“I have every confidence that each of the finalists will continue their journey to success in the industry. I wish them all the best with the awards and in their future careers.”
Mark Drummond, NFFF Head of Training School and lead judge of the award category, commented: “Judging the Drywite Young Fish Frier award category is always a very rewarding experience, knowing that we have helped someone pave the way to their dream career is very satisfying.
“This year at the skills judging day the contestants were certainly put through their paces.
“We were so overwhelmed by the standards of the contestants that we have six extremely talented and determined finalists this year. A very hard decision lies ahead of us.”
The top six finalists will now receive a mystery judging visit at their respective workplace, combined with another test of their skills and knowledge whilst in their own working environment. This final round of judging will determine the first, second and third winning places of the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year which will be announced at the 2015 awards ceremony held at the Lancaster London hotel on 20 January 2015.
Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Seafish, said: “The high level of skill coming through this award category continues to get stronger every year.
“Finalists have achieved unbelievable results for their age, and they can attribute this to their unrivalled talent and enthusiasm. Just being a finalist in this category confirms that they have the essential skills that will open the door to wider opportunities within the fish frying industry. I congratulate them on all their success and wish them the best of luck in the final.”
The National Fish & Chip Awards recognise the quality, value and choice offered by fish and chip businesses across the UK. With a variety of award categories, the awards reward talented individuals and businesses from all aspects of the fish frying industry.
For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards please visit www.fishandchipawards.com. Follow @FishnChipAwards on Twitter for all the awards news and information.