IT’S IN THE GENES
Article Date: 2019-08-07
In the latest issue of the Fish Friers Review we talk to former NFFF Training Academy student Jason Haslam who attended a ‘One-day Practical Guide to Fish Frying’ as three generations of his family look at joining the fish and chip trade.
What is your history family in fish and chip?
My mum and dad had a fish and chip shop for ten years in the 1980’s. I was only young and decided that the fish and chip business wasn’t my favourite career path and went into construction. My parents sold the business as my dad had been doing a full time job as well as running the business with my mum. He was doing 16 hours a day so was ready for a change of pace.
Why did you feel training was important before opening your business?
My dad and the existing owner of the shop we are buying have not had any up to date training. A lot has changed in terms of preparation and available products, so I didn’t want to rely solely on their experience. I am glad I decided to do the NFFF training as it was invaluable to learn the most effective and best methods to achieve top quality fish and chip products from Cem.
Three-generations of your family attended the training, are you looking forward to working as a family?
Yes we are all looking forward to working as a family. My son Jamie will be the main driver behind the shop. Myself and my dad will be the support and mentors for him. I intend to do a few shifts and my dad is keen to help with preparation. Jamie has a taste for the frying now and is keen to get started on the journey to our success.
Did the training open your eyes to a bit more about fish and chips?
The training certainly opened our eyes to fish and chip preparation and how we intend to present our product. We intended to work one way (following on from the existing owner) but realised within the first hour of the training that there were better and more cost-efficient ways of working. It made me realise there is more to frying fish and chips than most fish and chip shop owners will know.
I feel we now have the basic tool kit to deliver a great product and be the best. I did prior to the training that the course was expensive... I now know it was worth its weight in gold! I would definitely encourage more fish friers to do the training as it helps support our industry if all are delivering top quality fish and chips. I didn’t eat fish and chips for a while after having some and not enjoying them. This reflects on all other fish and chip shops. It would be good to get them all to a top standard.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of attending an NFFF course?
Definitely do it. It’s worth every penny and you will learn such a lot of information that you either didn’t know or never considered.
What are your plans for the future?
We intend to take on the current fish and chip shop that has been neglected. Jamie’s focus and drive with my own and his grandfather’s support is to deliver a superb product with excellent customer service to win back the customers it has lost over the years. I also feel like this could be a good way to test the water in terms of my future plans. I suppose we would like to own more than one shop and build a little chip shop empire. Only time will tell if that is possible. Watch this space!
For more exclusive stories regarding the fish and chip industry check out the latest issue of the Fish Friers Review by clicking here. If you are interested in training you can find out more about the NFFF Training Academy here.