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Fish Friers

Stories from the tale’s back to school

Article Date: 2019-08-19

Written by Lorraine Arnold, Paignton Pier Chippy

“What you going there for?” asked someone when I said I was going on the three day NFFF course “I thought you had already BEEN to Chippy School”, and you came top 3 in the country for best newcomer “Exactly” I replied. “I’m going to find out why we didn’t win it!”

Well, I went for more reasons than that, but you get the picture. I believe no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been in any industry, you never stop learning and will always get something out of courses such as the NFFF.

As it happens, it appears I had quite a lot to learn!

Everyone at the NFFF is always very friendly on the phone, Helen, Eileen and Robert, so it was lovely to put faces to names!

We were soon introduced to Mr Smiley (David Miller) In return, we introduced ourselves, David also brought in his right hand man for the day, Cem, from Packet Bridge Fish & Chip Shop and then they got down to business. To start us off we were given a huge folder with all the info about the course, but rather than sit and go through page by page, David preferred to just dip in and out randomly, but ensuring he covered all bases, and as he says, there is no better way of learning than on the job. Fish cutting, rumbling, batter mixing, you name it... it was all covered. Batter mix is a matter of personal taste really, but me being me, and striving for perfection, such as David’s, I decided to thin ours down a little after I got back, and to be honest, I think its working really well. Fish cutting, hmmmm, now this was really interesting – we buy ours in ready cut and so after I got back home from the course, I decided it is time we moved up to the next level and cut ourselves...I bought the scales, knives & knife sharpener and off we went... we tried it for a week, but, with our present set up and operation, we had to revert back to pre cut -for now! I do intend to go back to cutting when my manager James arrives at the end of the month, YAY (yes, finally I shall have a manager) but I would not even have entertained the idea if it wasn’t for David showing us his cutting technique, which certainly makes it much easier.

The course laid everything out , step by step, second by second. One thing in particular which stood out for me was just how much waste there is when over rumbling... when I checked with my rumbler, it appears he was rumbling 2mins too long!!!!!!! Costing a small fortune, so obviously I had taken my eye off the ball with that one! Amongst many things discussed was the pre cut chips option, and I am currently mulling that one over. Is that the way forward? No waste, no mess, no staff dramas...! If I can get the quality then it really is something to think about! (So, one question, as I write this, it has just occurred to me, does the pros and cons for using pre cut chips not follow for pre cut fish?... just wondering) Simon Walsh also came in and showed us how to make his very own speciality homemade tartar sauce and fishcakes – now these are a must, just another reason why I can’t wait for my manager to start!! I really want these items on the menu - its soooo exciting!! We covered all the paperwork side of things like health & safety, food hygiene fire safety etc, which even though I do have the Q Award, like the rest of the group, I felt David’s tips for all the procedures were extremely helpful. 

So what did I get out of the 3 days? firstly I had a great time, I met some truly wonderful people, but the main thing for me was that this extra training not only gave me more confidence, but it made me realise I was ready to take my business to the next level... I am serious and passionate about what I do and together with my team strive to be the best... David, Cem and Simon are certainly 3 of the best in the business, so for them to leave their businesses & take time out of their very busy lives to come share their knowledge, experience, wisdom and tips, not to mention a few funny stories, is truly something money just can’t buy... well, 3 days at the NFFF training can!

Interested in training?

Whether you’re thinking of buying and setting up a fish and chip shop, need to get your existing business back on track, or want to develop a promising apprentice, team leader or manager – this three-day intensive fish and chip training course is a must!

Our next three-day course takes place between the 2nd – 4th September 2019.

Book your place today by clicking here

Fish Friers