A CANTON fish and chip shop owner will choose the country’s best chippy tomorrow as a judge at National Fish and Chip Awards in London.
Zohaib Hussain, manager of Zero Plus Fish Bar on Cowbridge Road East, is proud to be judging the finals for the first time.
This is the latest career highlight for Mr Hussain who won Young Fish Frier of the Year in 2012 after four years of entering.
As a result of winning the competition, Mr Hussain was flown to Edinburgh to cook and talk with Prince Charles.
Mr Hussein became the first Young Fish Frier competition winner to judge at the National Awards the year after winning.
And this year he was promoted to finals judge, joining 11 other industry experts on the panel.
Mr Hussein said: “This is judging at the highest level in our industry and it’s a career highlight for me to be chosen as a judge at the age of 29.
“It’s not often that people my age get an experience like this and it’s quite humbling. It’s an honour and a privilege as everyone else in the room is about 40.
“I’ve been on similar judging panels every year since winning the Young Fish Frier competition but this is a lot more intense.
“It’s an important show and it feels amazing to be chosen to judge the finals.”
Mr Hussain, 29, has been the manager of his parents’ fish and chip shop, since completing his bachelor’s degree in Accountancy eight years ago.
“After I finished my degree someone asked me what I wanted to be and I couldn’t give an answer. I knew I couldn’t sit in an office all day,” he said.
“As I’d worked in my parents shop part-time when I was younger I thought I’d give it ago and I became manager of the shop as soon as I came out of university.”
Mr Hussain’s parents moved from Pakistan to Wales in 1984 and have owned Zero Plus Fish Bar for 26 years.
“My parents moved over to the Valleys because of the business opportunities and as our relatives ran a fish and chip shop in Cardiff they invited us over and helped us set up,” he said.
“Our most popular dish is fish and chips but our delicacy is chicken curry which is home made.”
The winner of the Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award will be announced on January 20.
The finalists are being judged on presentations and the winner will be judged on their business policies, according to Mr Hussain.