BIM Fishmonger of the Year is former trawler worker

Masterclass with Martin Shanahan of Fishy Fishy among the prizes awarded to finalists

Martin Shanahan (left), owner of Fishy Fishy Cafe & Restaurant with Gerard Collier, winner of BIM’s Fishmonger of the Year competition. Photograph: Paul Sherwood

Martin Shanahan (left), owner of Fishy Fishy Cafe & Restaurant with Gerard Collier, winner of BIM’s Fishmonger of the Year competition. Photograph: Paul Sherwood

 

Gerard Collier of Fisherman’s Catch in Clogherhead, Co Louth is the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Young Fishmonger of the Year. Collier earned the title from a shortlist of five finalists, who were visited in their shops by the judges, as well as having to demonstrate their technical skills.

Collier has previously worked as a fisherman, and Fisherman’s Catch has its own trawler, The Argonaut, on which he does the occasional day. His favourite fish is haddock, but he also likes to cook ray or skate. “Simmer it gently for eight minutes, then scrape the meat from the bones. Saute onions and peas in some butter, add the ray or skate meat and fry for three minutes,” he suggests.

Two unannounced visits were made to each of the five fishmongers, who were assessed on their product knowledge and customer service. They were then tested on their ability to fillet and prepare a range of fish and shellfish under time constraints, and had to talk to the judging panel about their business plans.

Collier wins a study trip to France, a cash prize of €1,000, and along with the other four finalists will receive a set of knives and a place on a BIM retail development workshop. They also took part in a seafood cooking masterclass with restaurateur and TV presenter Martin Shanahan of Fishy Fishy Café & Restaurant in Kinsale.

The other finalists were Stevie Connolly of Connolly’s Seafood, Rathmines, Dublin 6; Neil Turner of Caviston’s Food Emporium, Glasthule, Co Dublin; Mateusz Kowalik of Doran’s on the Pier, Howth, Co Dublin and Gary Quinn of Stephen’s Fish Market, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.