Seafood Restaurant of the Year Competition

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UK semi-finalist shortlist announced for 2018 Seafood Restaurant of the Year Competition

Comprising twelve restaurants from across the UK, the semi-finalist shortlist for the 2018 Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition has been announced today (28 August). The award, presented by Seafish and The Caterer, is designed to find the best restaurants cooking and serving delicious seafood dishes. 

Launched in 2015, the competition was created to find restaurants demonstrating both excellent examples of the cooking and serving of fish and shellfish, as well as evidence of fish and shellfish knowledge among their staff both front and back of house. Following initial judging assessment by competition judges, the resultant Top 12 shortlisted restaurants in the 2018 competition (in alphabetical order) are:

Progressing to the next round of the competition, over the next few weeks the shortlisted restaurants will be visited by a Seafish 'mystery diner judge', appraising the performance of respective restaurants, the levels of customer service on offer and assessing the quality of dishes offered on menus. Scores from this forthcoming judging stage will be aggregated with previous judging round scores to determine a subsequent top five finalist shortlist.

Along with a bespoke trophy for their restaurant, three members of the team from the winning restaurant in the 2018 competition will be invited on an all-expense paid study trip to Brixham, Devon, to further hone their knowledge regarding the catching, processing and supply of seafood. This trip will also provide an opportunity for the team to meet key industry players and experience some of the world's freshest and tastiest seafood.

The 2018 judging panel includes: José Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College, London; Giovanna Grossi, AA advisor and consultant; Calum Richardson, owner of The Bay Fish and Chips in Aberdeenshire; hospitality industry consultant, Amanda Afiya; Dave Mothersill, group head chef of The Salt Room, Brighton, East Sussex, and Paul Hurren, managing director, Lusso Catering.

Details of the finalists will be announced at the end of September with the winner announced in October.  

The Competition - What is involved?

The competition is open to all UK restaurants (that include fish and shellfish on their menus), and will seek out restaurants and cafes and other eateries that are demonstrating both excellent examples of the cooking and serving of fish and shellfish, and evidence of fish and shellfish knowledge.

The judges will be looking for clear evidence of responsible sourcing of sustainable raw ingredients, successful fish and shellfish promotion on menus, excellent levels of product knowledge both front and back of house, and examples of how customers are encouraged to eat fish and shellfish. Following an initial shortlisting judging process, the Top 10 restaurants will then be visited by a mystery diner judge, which will determine a final top five listing of leading restaurants, which will be revealed in autumn 2018.

As consumers in the UK, we have a tendency to focus our seafood consumption on five main species - salmon, tuna, cod, haddock and prawns - and yet on any one day it is estimated that there is in excess of 100 different species of fish and shellfish available for consumers to purchase and enjoy in the UK; a veritable bounty from the seas! While many consumers are often reticent about buying seafood for preparing and cooking at home, it is however very often a main menu choice for many people when they decide to eat out of home - consumers putting trust in a chef that he or she will expertly prepare and serve an excellent seafood dining experience. This point can therefore be acted upon by caterers by ensuring that there is a good variety of seafood choice on their menus. The Seafood Restaurant Of The Year Competition provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the wide range of restaurants, pubs and cafes that are excelling in providing customers with top quality fish and shellfish dining experiences.

Looking for more information on the competition? Click on the below links to find out what's involved:

The Judges

The Prizes

Previous Winners

Who can enter?

The Seafood Restaurant of the Year Competition is open to all bona fide restaurants, pubs, cafes, etc. in the UK (but excluding restaurants in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).

For further information about the competition please e-mail seafoodrest@seafish.co.uk