York chef hopes to batter competition in national fish frying awards

A York chef is hoping to batter the competition in her bid to become the country’s best young fish frier.

Roxana Vasai, head chef at Scotts Fish & Chips at Bilbrough, has got through to the last ten of the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Competition, after successfully undergoing a gruelling judging process.

The UK top ten young fish friers were announced this week as part of the 2016 National Fish and Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.

Roxana, who has been at Scotts for five years, said: “I’m very happy to have made it into the final ten. I’m looking forward to the rest of the competition and I am hoping to do well at the next round.”

The Young Fish Frier of the Year Competition is available to individuals under the age of 25 who are passionate about fish and chips. Aged 25, this is Roxana’s first – and last – chance to enter the competition.

Scotts owner Tony Webster added: “I’m thrilled that Roxy has been shortlisted for this important industry award. Since day one she has been incredibly industrious in her approach to her work, and she is learning some valuable lessons along the way.

“Roxy has got the drive and ambition to want to go further. She continues to work very hard both inside the shop and outside to develop her knowledge and skills.

“I’m very proud of her regardless of where she finishes in the competition. That said, she certainly has the potential to go all the way!”

Next Wednesday,  Roxana and the other nominees will be subject to further judging. Here they will have to complete a skills-based assessment and personal interview during a rigorous testing day at the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) Training School in Leeds.

This stage of the competition will whittle down the shortlist to a final five. Should Roxana progress through this stage, a judge will then pay her an unannounced visit at Scotts in September.

Briar Wilkinson, sales director at Drywite Ltd, said: “We’ve been running this competition for 20 years now, and this year the standard of entries has again been exceptionally high.

“The competition was conceived in 1995 by myself and Kevin Lee in memory of our late father, who had been associated with fish frying for over 60 years, and always had a passion for encouraging young people to succeed.”

Paul Williams, chief executive of Seafish, said: “The aim of the National Fish and Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses in the UK, while setting incredibly high standards for the industry to aspire to.

“It’s so important that we recognise upcoming talent and applaud our young people for investing in our industry.

“This award is such an aspiration and to be shortlisted is a great achievement in itself- it confirms that they have started their careers on the right track.”

Culminating in an awards ceremony at The Lancaster London Hotel on 20 January 2016, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK.

Situated adjacent to the A64 at Bilbrough Services, Scotts Fish & Chips boasts a 110-seater restaurant, new menu with an increased number of homemade dishes, and an extended take-away facility with a new “eat in” section. 

Roxana image
Roxana Vasai

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