13 April 2016
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency, today announced the final call for entries for the BIM Young Fishmonger competition in Howth, Co Dublin.
Pictured in Howth announcing the final call for entries for the Bord Iascaigh Mhara Young Fishmonger 2017 competition are previous winners James Kirwan, East Coast Seafood, Naas, Co. Kildare; Gerry Collier, Fishermans Catch, Clogherhead, Co. Louth and the current winner of the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Young Fishmonger competition George Stephens, The Fish Market, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 (centre) with Tara McCarthy, BIM CEO.
The BIM Young Fishmonger 2017 competition aims to recognise and reward fishmongers (35 years and under) who demonstrate a high level of expertise and knowledge. This year, the addition of a supermarket seafood counter award category will ensure excellence in this specialist field is developed across the entire seafood retail sector.
All interested young fishmongers are invited to apply for the prestigious competition by Wednesday, 20th April at 5.00pm.
Tara McCarthy, BIM’s CEO explains how this competition aims to raise standards across the board; ‘BIM’s Young Fishmonger competition is a celebration of excellence in seafood. Our young fishmongers have a specialist skill and knowledge that deserves to be recognised. As seafood consumers, our appetite for what is the healthiest protein on the market continues to grow with sales of €209 million last year. BIM is working directly with fishmongers to provide business mentoring and technical training supports to continue to raise the standards across the retail sector. Best of luck to all our applicants this year’
Now in its fourth year, the competition is extensively tested over three rounds of judging including an anonymous visit to the retail shop to assess the overall premises, the seafood offering, the applicant’s product knowledge and customer service.
Eight fishmongers from the regions of Leinster, Dublin City and County, Munster and Connaught/Ulster (four Independent retail fishmongers and four fishmongers from supermarket seafood counters) will be shortlisted in August to proceed to round two of the competition which involves in-depth visits and mentoring by experienced judges. The final stages of the competition will include a skills test, with all finalists expected to prepare a range of fish and shellfish under time constraints.
The winner of the Independent Seafood Retail Category and the Supermarket Seafood Counter category will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.
BIM’s Young Fishmonger competition is designed to test the business, customer and technical skills of our young fishmongers and the prizes reflect this with a two day cookery course at the world renowned and award winning Rick Stein cookery school in Padstow, Cornwall, a monetary prize fund and a specially commissioned trophy. BIM will also support the winners with training support in advanced product skills and business mentoring.
Previous winners James Kirwan of East Coast Seafood, Naas, Co. Kildare, Gerard Collier of Fisherman’s Catch, Clogherhead, Co. Louth and current winner George Stephens of The Fish Market, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 have all benefited and used their win to effectively develop and promote their businesses as well as enhance their own skills.
George Stephens explains what the award meant to him; ‘Winning the BIM Young Fishmonger has been a really positive development for our business. The award increased our profile attracting new customers to our three stores in Mullingar, Blanchardstown and Maynooth and as a result of the business and training support I have received from BIM, we have developed new products instore that are proving very popular with our new and existing customers. It has been and continues to be a real boost for me personally, my wife and business partner Anne and our wider team’