Peter Calvert from Mister C's in Selby, North Yorkshire, takes on his first column for Fry Magazine after being crowned Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year 2018
Winning the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award last month was just surreal. I remember being congratulated left, right, and centre, but it was nothing compared to returning home. First of all we had the journey back from London and we were, without doubt, the loudest on the train, drinking Champagne, cheering and just trying to let it sink in that I had won it.
When we got back to Selby, we went straight to Mister C’s and as I walked in all the staff and customers in the restaurant were applauding and cheering.
The next morning I expected it to be a dream but when I looked to see my winner’s frying jacket I realised it wasn’t. Seeing the Malcolm Lee trophy on top of the range with my name on it just made it even better. So many people were congratulating me from customers in the shop to other award winners to shop owners, which was amazing, I’ve being offered so much support for the coming year which is fantastic and will be invaluable.
Entering the competition has massively changed my perspective of the industry and has given me a much greater knowledge of how things work. I’ve had the opportunity to network and connect with so many people who have been a massive inspiration to me. Talk to them about how their shops operate and what different methods they use has been a great eye-opener into how varied and unique each shop is. The competition has also given me a lot more confidence in what I do in the shop, knowing that if I can go through months of judging and become the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year, I can achieve anything but at the same time understanding the judge’s comments and feedback after each round has enabled me to improve on areas that I could have done better so it’s given me the chance to push myself further.
I wouldn’t have been able to achieve all this, however, if it wasn’t for Mark and Denise Corbally as well as Danny and Amy Horsley, the owners of Mister C’s, so I would like to thank them for teaching, helping and supporting me all the way through the competition. From pointing out areas that I had to work on and improve, to pushing me to make sure all my work was at the highest possible standard.
The staff of Mister C’s have also been the absolute best team of people that anyone could ask for and I am so grateful for their support. And finally, I want to thank my family. My mum has been a constant source of encouragement during the hardest times while my dad has been a fresh set of eyes helping to spot things I didn’t originally see.
I’ve been asked to attend Friar’s Pride FRY I.T exhibition on 25th February so I'll be on the Drywite stand offering young friers the chance to ask questions about entering the Drywite Young Fish Frier competition and explaining why it’s an amazing opportunity as well as giving a presentation. Then I will be at the Best Practice Day on 19th March and the Introduction Day on 4th April at the NFFF training academy in Leeds, so if anyone wants to see how the competition works they really should attend. I will also be attending the third round of judging for the 2019 competition, so that will be a great opportunity to help encourage future finalists at that stage.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about the competition, please do contact me at the shop or via the Young Fish Friers website and I’ll do my best to encourage you to enter!