YOUNG FISH FRYER OF THE YEAR
My journey to winning young fish frier of the year began in 2012/2013 a couple of years before I was actually crowned the winner.
When I first entered the competition I went in knowing a lot less than I actually thought I did, I knew exactly which way the shop worked and how it ran on a day to day basis, however the amount I learnt whilst being involved in the competition was huge! Admittedly when the competition was first brought to my attention I had reservations and was not overly keen on entering, though I can honestly say it is the best advice I could have taken!
The opportunities which were given to me just from entering lead to me being able to learn so much more about the industry, from the management of frying medium to cutting fish to sustainability. Not only did it widen my knowledge it was also very beneficial for the business as I was introducing new and better ideas which we had never done before. At this point i went from thinking I was just working in a fish and chip shop to realising I had a whole career right in front of me. After winning in 2014, this is where the fun really began! I was doing radio interviews, speaking to local newspapers & magazines and even got invited out to Singapore to help out in a fish and chip shop over there, the opportunities seemed endless.
One of the main things I noticed from being involved with the young fish friers and the competition was how much my confidence grew. Most people seem to think it is a simple competition which you just get judged on your fish and chips when in reality it is much more than that! It is a very prestigious competition which I am very proud to have won! It is built up of 4 different rounds each one becoming more challenging than the previous round! From questionnaires to telephone interviews, being judged on preparation of batter, chips and fish, frying skills and techniques to presentation and shop inspections & mystery visits. I think I can safely say after taking part in all of these rounds more than once, it is far from simple!
Overall I have enjoyed every single minute of being involved in the competition and the young friers! I would also encourage anyone who is thinking about entering the competition to get involved straight away!
It is a great opportunity for young people within the industry to develop their skills & knowledge and like I say it is the beginning of a career!