A SOUTHBOURNE family-run fish and chip shop manager is in the running to win The National Fish and Chip Awards.
Ricky’s in Southbourne is owned by Ricky Sydney Knowlton and his wife Fiona McCarthy Knowlton.
Johnny Ciardini was overjoyed to hear that he was in the running for Employee of The Year for the National Fish and Chip Awards for his role as general manager at Ricky’s.
Johnny previously worked at several Dorset restaurants including The Noisy Lobster.
He said: “It’s a real honour to be nominated, just mad to be honest.
“I couldn’t have done it without the team and I can’t wait to go to London for the awards.”
Owner Ricky said: “We’re very proud of Johnny and the customers love him.
“We started Ricky’s during lockdown, and we've been open coming up for four years now and Johnny is a great addition to our team.”
Andrew Crook, organiser of the awards and president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, says: “The calibre of individuals that have been considered for Employee of the Year has made us so proud to be part of this dynamic and exciting sector in food service.
“It’s been a tough process for them to go through and even during the assessment period we’ve seen how our four finalists have refined their expertise further.
“They deserve this moment in the spotlight, and we felt it fitting to show our appreciation as a community and to enable other chip shop owners, colleagues, and peers to decide which person will receive the award.”
Sarah Robb, food service marketing manager at Premier Foods, adds: “People are at the heart of the industry, and we’re thrilled to welcome the finalists to the official awards ceremony in London. The judges had a tough job selecting the final four, so we’re excited to see who will scoop the highly anticipated first Employee of the Year.”
The awards ceremony will be held in London on 28 February at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, where the overall winner will receive their prize.
Ricky and his family have now extended their business to open Syds Slaps, a new café in Southbourne Grove.