The five finalists are as follows:
- Gerard Collier, Fishermans Catch in Clogherhead, Louth
- Stevie Connolly, Connollys Fish Company, Rathmines Road, Dublin
- Mateusz Kowalik, Dorans on the Pier, Howth, Dublin
- Gary Quinn, Stephens Fish Market, Mullingar, Westmeath
- Neil Turner, Cavistons Food Emporium, Glasthule, Dublin
BIM’s Young Fishmonger competition aims to recognise and reward young fishmongers and in doing so; raise the bar across the sector in terms of product knowledge and skills. Now in its second year, the competition is gaining profile and interest from industry.
Donal Buckley, BIM’s Business Development & Innovation Director explains the rationale behind the competition, saying: "We are very proud of this initiative, it is a programme that directly recognises the high level of expertise and knowledge amongst young fishmongers around the country.
"It also promotes the valuable service a fishmonger provides to customers in terms of preparing and buying seafood and I hope this competition helps to encourage consumers to seek out their local fishmonger and support local business. I would like to thank everyone who applied this year and we would encourage those who did not make it through to the final to consider entering again next year. Best of luck to all our finalists."
The shortlist of five nominees will now compete in round two and three of the competition involving in-depth visits by the judges to assess their knowledge of seafood, their understanding of quality issues, skills, techniques and customer service. The finalists will also be tested on their practical skills with each finalist required to fillet and prepare a range of fish and shellfish under time constraints in BIM’s Seafood Development Centre, Clonakilty.
As part of their prize, the five finalists will receive a master class in seafood cookery from renowned TV chef and owner of Fishy Fishy restaurant in Kinsale, Martin Shanahan. Finalists will also receive a specially designed trophy, a place on BIM’s retail development workshops, a set of professional knives and a cheque for €500. The winner will receive a study trip to France and a cheque for €1,000.
The overall winner will be announced at a presentation lunch in the Radisson St. Helen’s Hotel, Stillorgan, Dublin on the 24 November.