Open to anyone involved in the fish trade the competitions test the skills that are necessary in the preparation of fish in readiness for use by consumers. These expert skills are sometimes overlooked, but the fishmongers at this year’s competition were fantastic examples of why these skills are still so important when selling fish to the general public within supermarkets, or independent fishmongers.
The judges for the competition are all experienced fishmongers from across all parts of the country. While naturally taking into account regional variations, they award points for performance, presentation, hygiene and general quality of the final product.
The structure of the championship ensures that excellence across the board is highlighted. Consisting of many stand-alone competitions to enter, the scores are aggregated – in order to reveal the winner of the overall title of British Fish Craft Champion. All competitions have four placings with prize money and trophies to be won in each category.
This year’s British Fish Craft Championships saw over 60 competitors across the weekend travelling from as far as Cornwall and Aberdeen to take to the block in order to claim the title on offer in categories such as fish collage presentation, shellfish preparation and responsibly sourced halibut filleting.
Returning to claim the title for a second year, the 2019 British Fish Craft Champion accolade was awarded to Andrew Barker of Hodgson Fish in Hartlepool. The Craft Challenge Champion – which is a competition for anyone new to the industry or entering for the first time – went to Lee Roberts of Sailbrand.
As part of this year’s competition, two new categories were featured, including; the Fresco Fisheries Exotic Fish Species and the Welsh Seafood Cluster, cooked Welsh shellfish products round, which attracted a good number of first-time entries.
Caroline Hooper, Competition Organiser for the NFF said: “It’s always good to see new faces coming through and doing well – in particular two female competitors; Amy Smith of E Ashton Ltd, Cardiff and Sarah Webber of M & J Seafood.
“Over the weekend we also had the support of the Alaskan Marketing Seafood Institute, who had a display stand and gave us some superb fish on Saturday for our cooking and filleting demonstrations.”
The 68th Annual competition was held in Cardiff Bay; on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2019
For more information about the competition, please visit the National Federation of Fishmongers.
A full list of the 2019 Winners can be downloaded here.