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Fish Friers

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government visits Our Plaice

Article Date: 2017-03-30


Sajid Javid the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in the UK visited Our Plaice in Hagley to congratulate Head Fryer James Houlston on his 3rd place finish in the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year competition. Alongside Sajid Javid, Nicky Lewis and Kelvin Lee from Drywite Limited the award sponsor was on hand for the presentation.

The Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year competition offers fish friers who are under the age of 25, the chance to prove their skills, knowledge and ability in all aspects of running a successful fish and chip business. Applicants need to have enthusiasm for the trade, possess a positive attitude and be confident in their own abilities.

Drywite Limited itself evolved from the Pioneer Potato Company Limited, which was founded by Harold G Lee in 1933 when his fourteen year old son Malcolm, who worked part time as a potato boy in a local fish and chip shop, came up with the inspired idea of selling ready peeled potatoes in his local neighbourhood. To overcome the problem of peeled potatoes discolouring when kept out of water, Malcolm and his father formulated their own preservative, which caused such interest among local fish friers that they soon gave up peeling potatoes to concentrate on the production of the preservative, which was patented and called Drywite. Today Drywite products are found in most fish and chip shops throughout the world and the company has always maintained a very close involvement with the fish and chip industry.

To earn his 3rdplace spot, James had to showcase his talents during a rigorous, multi-stage judging process; encompassing exam questionnaires and in-depth telephone interviews conducted by senior industry experts. He was subjected to further appraisal as he received a skills based assessment and underwent a personal interview during a comprehensive judging day at the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) Training School in Leeds, West Yorkshire. James also received a mystery judging visit at his respective workplace to test his skills and knowledge whilst in his own working environment.

Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, commented: "The aim of the National Fish & Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses and individuals in the UK while setting incredibly high standards for the industry. We’ve been extremely impressed by the high standard of talent in the young fish frier category this year. The marginal difference between who is successful and who misses out gets smaller year-on-year, but James has a wealth of skill and passion, and this was demonstrated in abundance throughout the judging process.

Award sponsor Kelvin Lee, Managing Director of Drywite Ltd, said: "Now in its 22nd year, this award showcases the exceptionally high quality of young talent emerging – the standard of which makes me very proud."

Now in their 29th year, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. They celebrate the Great British tradition of fish and chips, showcasing the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses through 14 different award categories.

For more information visit www.fishandchipawards.comor follow @FishnChipAwards #FishnChipAwards.

Fish Friers