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Fish Friers


Article Date: 2015-09-08

 The UK’s best up-and-coming young fish friers, announced as part of the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards, got an inside glimpse into the James T Blakeman & Co Ltd ‘Supreme Sausage’ factory today (8 September) as they experienced a behind-the-scenes tour of the 57,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.

Attending the trip were finalists for the 2016 Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award:


  • Amy Horsley of Mister C’s, Selby, North Yorkshire
  • James Houlston of Our Plaice, Kidderminster, Worcestershire
  • Andrew Hillier of Harbourside Fish & Chips, Plymouth, Devon
  • George Papadamou of Papa’s Fish & Chips, Willerby, Hull
  • Dino Papadamou of Papa’s Fish & Chips, Warrington, Cheshire


Led by the reigning Young Fish Frier champion, Rachel Tweedale of The Elite Fish & Chip Company in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, the tour gave finalists the chance to learn how the company produces almost 1,600 tonnes of sausages per month. 

As the factory opened its doors, the frying enthusiasts discovered the ingredients, staff and state-of-the-art equipment and distribution systems that go into producing one of the UK’s finest sausages. They also got one-on-one time with Rachel, learning tricks of the trade as they refined their sausage frying skills.

Philip Blakeman, Managing Director of James T Blakeman & Co Ltd, said: "We wanted the young fryers to see for themselves how Blakeman’s quality products are manufactured with the utmost care and dedication.

"This tour of our factory may be a first for some young fryers. I hope they leave with the knowledge of how the humble sausage they serve to their customers is produced.”

Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Seafish, commented: "Our nation’s fish and chip shops wouldn’t be able to create such high quality products without the help of the industry’s best equipment and leading food manufacturers.

"Technology is constantly evolving; this in-depth tour at the James T Blakeman factory is hugely beneficial for our finalists as they learn more about the supply chain in their industry. I hope our young fryers share their new found knowledge with colleagues and customers at their respective fish and chip shops.”

Kelvin Lee, Director of Drywite Ltd, organisers of the Young Fish Frier of the Year Award added: "My fellow director Briar Wilkinson and I would like to thank James T Blakeman for making this factory tour possible for our finalists. It will give them an exclusive insight into the industry from another perspective.”

Having reached this latest stage of the competition, the finalists of the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award will next receive a mystery judging visit at their respective workplace, combined with another test of their skills and knowledge whilst in their own working environment, before the overall winner is announced at the grand awards ceremony held at The Lancaster London Hotel on 20 January 2016. 

The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. Widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, they celebrate the great British tradition of fish and chips, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses. or follow @FishnChipAwards on Twitter.

Fish Friers