Eight fishmongers from independent speciality outlets and supermarket counters, will compete for ‘Independent Seafood Counter of the Year’ and Supermarket Seafood Counter of the Year’, as part of the BIM Young Fishmonger 2017 awards.
Explaining the motivation behind the annual competition, Tara McCarthy, BIM chief executive said the skills of the seafood industry need to be celebrated:
“The competition highlights one of the stalwarts of the retail sector – your fishmonger. It is designed to reward and recognise talent, but also to encourage and train new entrants into a sector that has experienced a noticeable revitalisation in recent years.”
With over 500 independent and supermarket seafood counters nationwide, and domestic sales reaching €234m in the 12 months to June 2016, “seafood has become the most on trend protein in the market” she added.
The eight finalists will be visited by the judges who will assess their general seafood knowledge, understanding of quality issues, skills, techniques and customer service.
In the final stage in October, each finalist will be required to fillet and prepare a range of fish and shellfish under time constraints, as well as outline their plans and ambitions for a career in the seafood sector.
The curent title holder, George Stephens of the Fish Market in Blanchardstown, Co Dublin, began his career as a chef in L’Ecrivain and Sheen Falls Hotel. George then honed his skills in fishmongery and now has three outlets in Blanchardstown, Co Dublin, Maynooth, Co Kildare and Mullingar, Co Westmeath.
Following his win, George went on various study trips to Holland and had a seafood slot on television series Ireland AM. He is also going to London shortly to visit seafood retail and foodservice outlets, for inspiration on how to further develop his own businesses.
The Young Fishmonger 2017 will be announced at the inaugural BIM Seafood Awards on November 17 in the Clayton Hotel, Dublin.
Independent Seafood Specialist category
Stephen Hurley, The Fish Shop, Glenmar Shellfish Ltd, Union Hall, Co Cork
Peter Roberts, Roberts of Dalkey, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Anne Stephens, The Fish Market, Maynooth, Co Kildare
Philip Fitzsimons, Fitzsimons Family Fishmongers, Crumlin, Dublin 12
Supermarket Seafood Counter Category
Eimantas Zvirblis, Donnybook Fair, Malahide, Co Dublin
Alona Dutchak, Dunnes Stores, Childer’s Road, Limerick
Anthony Murray, Dunnes Stores, Headford Road, Galway
Katrina Curmova, Dunnes Stores, Longford, Co Longford