Video: Young fish friers batter the competition in Leeds

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Young fish and chip friers are battering the competition in Leeds.

The best fish friers from across the country are frying high in a bid to become the Young Fish Frier of the Year.

Five of the semi finalists Tom Hughes, Colin McGeoch, Matthew Martin, head judge Mark Drummond, Kat Deuchars, and Ryan Hughes. PIC: James Hardisty

Five of the semi finalists Tom Hughes, Colin McGeoch, Matthew Martin, head judge Mark Drummond, Kat Deuchars, and Ryan Hughes. PIC: James Hardisty

The team of 10 is being put through its paces at the headquarters of the National Fish Friers Federation (NFFF) in Leeds.

The young friers showed the judging panel how they prepare and serve one of the country’s most popular dishes over the course of two days.

Super centenarian Edna Beevers, who was recently named as the NFFF’s mascot to celebrate 100 years of the federation, was also on hand to sample the servings.

Edna, who lives in Meanwood and celebrated her 100th birthday last month, said: “I’m as old as the federation.

“I used to live in Guiseley near Harry Ramsden’s and used to have fish and chips there every week.”

Fish friers, aged under 25, travelled from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Lincolnshire and Selby to battle for the title at the federation’s training school on nearby Greenwood Mount.

Tom Hughes, 24, travelled from Plymouth to take part in the competition.

He made the semi-finals last year but now hopes to claim the top prize this year.

He said: “I was up here last year in the same stage and it would mean everything to win.”

His aunt and uncle own restaurants which inspired him to take up a career in the catering industry.

He added: “I think people would be surprised to see what we have to go through to be qualified.

“It sounds cheesy but passion makes the perfect fish and chips.”

The friers were put through their paces in written applications before the final 10 were selected.

The top five friers will then be invited to take part in another round of judging in the comfort of their own shops.

They will then be scored on their preparation, how well they run the premises and their customer service.

They will then be selected to attend a glittering awards ceremony for the National Fish and Chip Awards in London next year.

Denise Dodd, general secretary of the NFFF, said: “The title will mean that they are one of the leading young fish friers in the country.

“They will also be a role model really for other young people coming into the industry.

“Some of the previous winners are here as judges and this helps to promote training in the industry.”

The NFFF is the official body representing 10,500 fish and chip shops across the country.


Fish and chips originated in Great Britain in the 19th century.

During the Second World War fish and chips remained one of the few foods not subject to rationing.

There are currently in the region of 10,500 specialist fish and chip shops in the UK.

British consumers eat 382 million portions of fish and chips every year.

John Foley of PTSG

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