24 August 2016
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency, is delighted to announce the greatly anticipated shortlist for the BIM Young Fishmonger 2017 awards.
Eight fishmongers, four from Independent seafood specialists and four from supermarket seafood counters, will now compete for the following coveted titles; ‘Independent Seafood Specialist of the Year’ and ‘Supermarket Seafood Counter of the Year’ to be presented at BIM’s inaugural Seafood Awards on the 17th November in the Clayton Hotel, Dublin. The finalists are as follows:
Independent Seafood Specialist Category:
Stephen Hurley, The Fish Shop, Glenmar Shellfish Ltd., Union Hall, Co Cork
Peter Roberts, Roberts of Dalkey, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Anne Stephens, The Fish Market, Maynooth, Co Kildare
Philip Fitzsimons, Fitzsimons Family Fishmongers, Crumlin, Dublin 12
Supermarket Seafood Counter Category:
Eimantas Zvirblis, Donnybrook Fair, Malahide, Co Dublin
Alona Dutchak, Dunnes Stores, Childers Road, Limerick
Anthony Murray, Dunnes Stores, Headford Road, Galway
Katarina Curmova, Dunnes Stores, Longford, Co Longford
Tara McCarthy, BIM’s Chief Executive outlines the motivation behind the annual competition; ‘As a country, we need to celebrate the skills of our seafood industry and the BIM Young Fishmonger competition highlights one of the stalwarts of the retail sector – your local fishmonger. It is designed to reward and recognise talent but also to encourage and train new entrants into a sector which has experienced a noticeable revitalisation in recent years. With more than 500 independent and supermarket seafood counters nationwide and domestic sales reaching €234 million this year, seafood has fast become the most on trend protein in the market. We, in BIM, are committed to raising the bar across the whole retail sector so we are delighted to have extended the competition to include a supermarket seafood counter category this year. Good luck to all our talented finalists in the last phase of judging. We are looking forward to the announcement of the 2017 winners at the BIM Seafood Awards in November. ’
The final eight will now receive in-depth visits by the judges to assess their knowledge of seafood, their understanding of quality issues, their skills, techniques and customer service. The final stage in October will rigorously test the finalists’ skills with each fishmonger required to fillet and prepare a range of fish and shellfish under time constraints as well as discussing their future plans and ambitions for their career in the seafood sector. This will take place in BIM’s Seafood Development Centre in Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
The current BIM Young Fishmonger 2016 George Stephens of the Fish Market, Blanchardstown has been an exemplary winner and a shining light in the industry. Originally a chef in renowned seafood establishments including L’Ecrivain and Sheen Falls Hotel; George has turned his culinary talents to the art of fishmongery and now has three seafood retail outlets in Blanchardstown, Mullingar and Maynooth. Along with his wife Anne who manages the Maynooth store and is one of the talented finalists announced today, he has developed a successful business that has retained a loyal customer base. Following his win, George has benefited from BIM study trips to Holland and exposure for his business that includes a seafood cookery slot on Ireland AM. In addition, George will soon undertake a seafood study trip to London, to view a range of innovative seafood retail and food service establishments, to gain inspiration on how to develop his business even further.