What life is like for leading UK seafood firm's new fish and chip taster

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 30 Jul 2018

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a fish and chip taster for one of the biggest seafood manufacturers in the UK?

Mat Ombler has started his role as Young’s Seafood’s brand new Chip Shop taster after beating 250 applicants to the role.

He will spend the next year sampling the companies Chip Shop range, along with products that are currently under development, and providing his own input into the dishes he loves.

Chef and tester: Serge Nollent with the new recruit. 

Hailing from Hull, Mat said he has loved fish and chips for as long as he can remember, visiting his local chippy at least twice a week, and believes there is nothing better to bring family and friends together than a good meal.

We joined him for his induction day at Young’s Seafood's Ross House headquarters, where he learned what his new role will entail and the correct way to go about sampling the fish and rating it based on its texture, flavour and smell.

Mat said his “mind was completely blown” when he found out he had been selected as the new fish and chip taster.

And he said: “It has been a real eye-opener seeing the effort that goes into developing all of the different products that Young’s have available.

“I started off this morning by trying out different kinds of fish, and learning how I should rate them based on their texture, flavour and smell, and I never realised just how complicated and in depth the whole process is.

“When trying the fish I have been given a special chart to use, which helps me decide whether the flavour is appropriate and if there is the right level of sweetness.

Eye up the next meal! Pictured from left, Mat Ombler, Serge Nollent, Helen Oxley, Sue Gibbons and Carole Richardson

“Being a massive fish lover today has just been a dream, I don’t think that I have ever eaten so much fish before in life.”

Mat joined Young’s long-serving in-house chef and head of culinary, Serge Nollent, after his morning sampling fish, where he helped to create a number of dishes that can be made using Young’s Chip Shop range. Together, they created Chip Shop Cod Fillets with potato wedges, minted mushy peas and curry sauce, Chip Shop XL Cake in a bun with skinny fires and Chip Shop Omega 3 Fillet Tacos with salsa and guacamole.

While tucking into his plate of fish and chips, Mat said: “I must say that this is as close as you can get to the real chip shop experience, I really am amazed.

“The fish has wonderful flavour and the batter is very light and bubbly, going down perfectly with the curry sauce which is nice and fruity with just a bit of a kick.

“It has been brilliant fun working with Serge today, who has played a huge part in creating some of my favourite Young’s meals.”

Mat will now meet with the team at Young’s for quarterly taster sessions, as he helps to ensure that the Chip Shop range is still up to its high standard, while also having the chance to sample any future meals that the company will be selling.

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