The Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award is underway with the announcement of the top 10 candidates to make it through the first round of judging.
Following many submissions for the award, leaders from the fish and chip industry have chosen ten individuals who they consider are “exceptional” to go through to the next round. The hopeful entrants are all aged under 25 and have a minimum of six months’ unsupervised frying experience. They are:
Glen Marshall Morrison – Garioch Fish Bar, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
Jamie Russo – Redcloak Fish Bar, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire
Imogen Atkinson – Real Food Café, Tyndrum, Stirling
Lewis Newton – Sandgate Chippie, Penrith, Cumbria
Kieran Bulpit – Linfords Traditional Fish and Chips, Market Deeping, Lincolnshire
James Ellams – Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove, Chester, Cheshire
Imogen Jones – Jojo’s Fish and Chips, Stafford, Staffordshire
Taylor Webster – Fish Kitchen 1854, Maesycwmmer, Wales
Georgia Lye – Seafare Fish and Chips, Guildford, Surrey
Charlie James, PiPier Point Bar & Restaurant, Torquay
All 10 will now face a virtual interview where each candidate will fry fish and chips live in front of the panel. While the cooked product and their knowledge is assessed, they will also be asked set, skills-based questions. The best six will progress to the next stage, where they will be assessed in person their respective chip shops before selecting the final three.
The re-introduction of the award after a three year gap comes after the pandemic put a halt to the in-person proceedings of the judging process. Newcomers to the industry also needed adequate training time to build up their skills.
Kelvin Lee, managing director of Drywite, which sponsors that award, said: “Although this has been a long time coming, I am very pleased that we have now been able to re-instate the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award. The calibre of young talent coming through the industry is amazing and the shortlisted group has so much potential to really drive their fish and chip careers forward in the future, it will be a thrill to present the Malcolm Lee Trophy to the winner and for Drywite Ltd to be part of their stories.”
Awards organiser and president of the National Federation of Fish Friers Andrew Crook, added: “This award is always one of the top highlights for the judges. The level of understanding and proficiency displayed by these young professionals is a strong indicator of where the industry is heading and it’s full of promise. Being able to encourage and support young fish friers from the first stages of their careers and seeing them flourish is a great privilege.”
The Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on 28th February 2024 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel in London.