The UK’s top five young fish friers have been announced as part of the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
Shortlisted as finalists, as part of the awards which are widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, the five up-and-coming young friers are: Elise Boothroyd of Fochabers Fish Bar in Fochabers, Moray; Andrew Hillier of Harbourside Fish & Chips in Plymouth, Devon; James Houlston of Our Plaice in Kidderminster, West Midlands; George Papadamou of Papa’s Fish & Chips in Hull, East Yorkshire and Luke Pope of Bankers Fish Restaurant in Brighton, East Sussex.
The five finalists will now go head-to-head as they compete for the top title – Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award – and vie to be crowned the ‘best young fish frier’ in the UK.
To get to this stage and secure a place in the coveted shortlist, the young friers have faced a rigorous judging process, undergoing exam questionnaires and in-depth telephone interviews conducted by senior industry experts. They also faced a skills based assessment and personal interview during a comprehensive judging day at the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) Training School in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
The overall national winner will be announced on 26 January 2017 at the National Fish & Chip Awards annual ceremony in London.
Celebrating the best young fish friers across the country, the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award encourages the younger generation in the industry to nurture and further develop their individual skills and talent to become positive role models for the wider fish and chip industry.
Kelvin Lee, Managing Director at Drywite Ltd, commented: “After attending the judging days for this award category at the NFFF’s headquarters, I knew that cutting the shortlist down from 10 to five was going to be difficult; all the semi-finalists were extremely talented young people.
“It was the practical skills test that set the clear frontrunners ahead of the rest and enabled us to form our list of finalists. I wish all five of them the best of luck as they prepare to face the final round of judging ahead of the awards ceremony.”
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, added: “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 while setting incredibly high standards for the industry to aspire to.
“We’ve been extremely impressed by the level of talent in the young fish frier category this year. The margin between who is successful and who misses out gets smaller year-on-year, but to reach the top five in a UK wide competition is a great achievement in itself – they should all be very proud of themselves.”
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.
For further information on the Young Friers Group please visit www.youngfriers.com.