Drywite is on the search for its Young Fish Frier of the Year after it was announced the accolade will return to the 2024 National Fish & Chip Awards following a three-year absence.
The competition, which is open to 18-25-year-olds, aims to create a medium through which fish frying is demonstrated to be a worthwhile career for young people to enter.
Previous winners have gone on to open their own shops, run multiple businesses and win prestigious accolades, including Fish & Chip Takeaway of the Year.
The entry criteria states that candidates must have a minimum of six months frying experience and be able to fry safely unsupervised, and that the shop where they work must have a minimum rating of four in the FHRS.
According to Drywite, judges are not necessarily looking for the very best shop, instead they look for that special quality that says, ‘this young person will use their success to achieve great things for the industry’.
In rare cases, it says, the winner might have already created one of the best shops in the country, but usually they are simply working in one, or possibly on their way to creating their own, by breathing new life into an old shop.
Judging will take place over three rounds, including an entry questionnaire, an interview and a shop visit, and will be overseen by chief judge Mark Drummond.
The Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year award was launched in 1995 by Kelvin Lee and Briar Wilkinson in memory of their late father Malcolm Lee, who had been associated with fish frying for over 60 years.
Having started his career as a potato boy in a fish and chip shop age 14, Malcolm Lee always believed that the future of the fish and chip trade depended on young people and that encouraging them to recognise fish and chips as a worthwhile profession, not just a job, would also encourage young people through the door as customers.
Kelvin Lee, managing director at Drywite, comments: “We look forward to seeing who lifts the Malcolm Lee Trophy and is crowned Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year 2024.”
Entry is online at www.thefishandchipawards.com and the closing date is 17th September 2023.