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30 Minutes With...

...Mat Ombler, Fish & Chip Taster, Young's Seafood

What do you dislike the most in the fish and chip industry?

It has to be the queuing. There is nothing worse when you’re absolutely starving after a long day and the queue for your favourite chippie is out the door!  This being said, it is always worth the wait and a long queue is only ever a good sign.

How did you get into the industry?

I saw the job advert for the Young’s official Fish & Chip Taster and immediately knew that it was the perfect job for me. I am officially Britain’s most passionate fish and chip connoisseur and it’s now my job to confirm that Young’s has the most delicious products for the nation’s chippies. I obviously get sent lots of fantastic products to try so I can directly share my thoughts with Young’s development chef and product panel.

If you could change jobs with anyone else for the day who would it be?

If I could change jobs with anyone it would probably be with someone in the technical department at Young’s Seafood. When I visited Young’s HQ in Grimsby for my introductory training day I got the opportunity to visit the Raw Material Quality Assessment (RMQA) laboratory and it was such a fascinating experience. We never really think about the scientific process behind assuring only the best quality fish is used and it was great to experience an insight into the sensory evaluation that takes place.

What’s your favourite film?

I think any film from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Absolutely amazing.

What was the first music single you bought?

It was Open Your Eyes by a band called Goldfinger after playing hours of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on the PlayStation. I’ve discovered some of the best bands in my life through playing video games that I might have missed otherwise!

Do you have a nickname?

The closest thing I get to a nickname is someone accidentally putting two Ts in my name. Because I’ve got a strong Yorkshire accent I often get called Mark too as people hear me mispronouncing my own name, apparently!

What did you want to be as a child?

I wanted to do something involving video games. I’m a freelance writer outside of work covering video games so I guess that worked out!

What’s your favourite food?

As the UK’s biggest fish and chips fan, you can probably guess my favourite food. I love eating fish and chips especially when it is from the chippy. In my view, the fish should always be placed centrally on top of the chips before it is covered with both salt and vinegar. By doing so customers will be drawn to eat the fish first, but as they do, delicious flakes of fish and small pieces of batter will fall onto and in between the chips to ensure the delicious taste of the fish remains throughout. It is completely up to each individual as to whether they add mushy peas, but for me it is essential.

What sports team do you support?

Anything that has the best odds of delivering a recent return on a £10 bet.

If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Martin Luther King and I would ask him how it feels to have seen the world make so much progress, only to have taken so many steps backwards recently?

If you could go back in time what year would you choose?

1980s – I was born in the '90s and feel like I missed a party!

Do you have any hobbies?

I’m a musician – I play drums and the saxophone. I’m also a freelance writer and like to write short stories and scripts in my spare time.

What question would you like to ask our next “30 minutes with”? 

Who would win in a fight between Captain Birdseye and an anthropomorphic Malcolm the Cat?

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