The competition was tough with his fellow finalists (Peter Shanahan, Fish Seafood Deli, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork; Stephen Fagan, Kish Fish, Coolock, Dublin; Lidia Ulaszek, Dunnes Stores, Knocknacarra, Co. Galway; Eoghan Crowe, Quinlan’s, Killarney, Co. Kerry) all demonstrating high standards throughout the judging process.
Meet the winner and his fellow finalists:
Pictured above: George Stephens, The Fish Market, Blanchardstown, Dublin, proud winner of the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Young Fishmonger 2016 award pictured with Tara McCarthy, BIM CEO.
George Stephens, The Fish Market, Blanchardstown, Dublin
George is not only an experienced fishmonger but his culinary background and business acumen has led to an expansion in the business with three retail outlets in Maynooth, Blanchardstown and Mullingar town. A professional chef with eight years seafood retail experience, George knows all there is about preparing and cooking seafood. Supported by his wife and business partner Anne, George has a real drive and a passion for developing his business further He is constantly working on new ready to go seafood products and has recently launched a new range of freshly fried fish to his Blanchardstown store, which has proved hugely popular with his customers.
Lidia Ulaszek, Dunnes Stores, Knockncarra, Galway
Lidia is working on the fish counter in Dunnes Stores for 4 years. Lidia is passionate about seafood and it is clear she is a perfectionist, with a pristine fish counter that is exceptional in terms of quality, variety, display and hygiene. Lidia, describes her late father as her first teacher. He taught her how to prepare and cook seafood and Lidia still enjoys developing her own new seafood meals, testing out flavours and varieties of fish. This creative flair for home cooking is passed on to her loyal customers who regularly ask her for advice on easy seafood recipes.
Eoghan Crowe, Quinlan’s, Killarney, Co. Kerry
At 23 years old, Eoghan is the youngest of our finalists this year, but as he started work with Quinlan’s while still in school, he has learnt all there is to know from a young age. While at college, Eoghan continued to work part time in Quinlan’s restaurant and in 2012, was delighted to get a full time position in Quinlan’s fish shop in Killarney. He thoroughly enjoys meeting new and regular customers from a variety of backgrounds. Every day is different depending on the local catch from Portmagee or Castletownbere and working for a renowned seafood business like Quinlan’s ensures there are new innovative products and services on a regular basis.
Stephen Fagan, Kish Fish, Coolock, Dublin
Stephen has over 4 years’ experience as a fishmonger is Dublin’s well known Kish Fish seafood business. Stephen originally honed his skills in the company’s Bow Street shop and then moved to the modern premises in Malahide Industrial Estate. Stephen prides himself on a well-stocked fish counter that caters for all their customers, from business people to busy Mum’s and everyone in between. Stephen knows the importance of customer service and keeping up with consumer trends. The company recently upgraded their website and are now using social media to communicate their daily specials and cookery demonstrations that will focus on the health benefits of seafood.
Peter Shanahan, Fish Seafood Deli, Rosscarbery, West Cork
Peter originally trained as a carpenter and spent many years in the construction industry. When the building industry collapsed, he returned to the fishing industry, working in Glenmar Shellfish in Union Hall, Co Cork and then fishing on prawn and tuna trawlers. Peter saw first-hand the variety and quality of Irish fish caught off our coast and living in the idyllic surrounds of Rosscarbery identified an opportunity for the village’s first seafood retail outlet. Peter opened Fish Seafood Deli in 2011 and the business has gone from strength to strength with 2 mobile units serving the West Cork area with fresh fish 6 days a week. Peter has also recently opened a second shop in Clonakilty. Peter can offer his customers fresh fish straight from the busy fishing ports of Union Hall and Castletownbere and his customers particularly like how Peter can name the boat, skipper and crew that landed the fish! Peter previously appeared on RTE’s A Taste of Success programme with his fish cake product and now that he has a commercial kitchen, he has further plans to develop new products with the assistance of BIM’s Seafood Development Centre in Clonakilty.
BIM's Young Fishmonger 2015, Gerard Collier, knowns what it takes to be a great fishmonger.