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A whale of a time

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

He may only be 24, but Adam Hutton, lead frier at Wetherby Whaler, has already developed a deep-rooted passion for fish and chips and he’s keen to share it with other young friers 

My passion is just about anything culinary. I love to take fresh, raw ingredients and turn them into something that people can really enjoy and indulge in. I have been in the catering industry since I left school and have enjoyed every second of it.

Fish is the produce that I am most passionate about. At the Wetherby Whaler we source our fish responsibly, from suppliers that fish in the most sustainable waters. We take this very seriously because we know how crucial it is to keep the oceans healthy and rich with life. Not only doing our bit to help look after the planet, but also supporting generations to come in the industry.

Importantly, the way our fish is handled once we receive it is crucial. Every single aspect of our fish cutting process is accountable. We use our own online system, meaning that we can keep track of every fish we buy and cut. We also have an average number of fish and waste allowance to get out of each box we buy which helps with consistency of the product in terms of size and weight.

I am amazed at how few actually (and truthfully) weigh their fish. As the most expensive purchase line in most shops, the impact on profitability and in particular the gross profit margin is significant if not done consistently and correctly each and every day.

I have recently started to help coach new, up-and-coming friers within the Wetherby Whaler and pass on the skills I have learnt to them. This is something that I am very passionate about. I always remember how daunting it was when I was first starting out, so I know how important it is to have some good guidance, coaching and training.

"I always remember how daunting it was when I was first starting out, so I know how important it is to have some good guidance, coaching and training."

Last year, I entered the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award for the first time and I came in the Top 10. This was a great learning experience for me and also a great chance to network with some of the brilliant people that operate in this industry. I have met some great people and learnt so much in the last year, not only about the industry but also about myself. It’s given me the confidence to go on and achieve more, and that is priceless. I strongly urge any youngsters to get involved next year, it is a fantastic experience and even if you think it’s not for you, it’s worth giving it a go. You never know unless you try!

I have entered again this year and have gone one better to get into the Top 5. Whether successful or not, I may enter again or maybe one of my protégé’s will be entering in the future.

Are you a young frier with something you would like to share in a future column? If so, contact the editor with a brief summary by clicking here

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