The UK’s 20 best fish and chip shops have been revealed today (Tuesday 5 September) as part of the 30th anniversary National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
Following rigorous judging, 20 businesses have been shortlisted for the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award, one of 15 categories in the 2018 National Fish & Chip Awards – aptly known as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish and chip industry.
Representing the best of Great British takeaway fish and chips, they will now compete for their place in the national final and a chance to claim the ultimate honour of being crowned the best fish and chip shop in the UK.
Hailing from across the country*, the competing shops have had frying skills put to the test as well as being assessed against a variety of judging criteria, including menu development and innovation, sustainable sourcing policies, staff training processes and marketing activity.
Over the coming week, the top 20 will be subjected to further assessment with judges making unannounced visits to undertake full business audits and additional appraisal of the fish and chips on offer. This next judging stage will determine a top 10 list of shops who will progress to the final stage of the competition to be held in London in January 2018.
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, said: “Our Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest accolades in the fish and chip industry. Showcasing the best talent from across the UK, this category is renowned for its competitive nature.
“Since the awards launched 30 years ago, our judging criteria has evolved and adapted to mirror the development of our industry. Not only are the shops judged on the product itself, but they are also assessed across every aspect of running a successful business as well as how they are responding to wider industry issues including responsible and sustainable sourcing of raw ingredients. Taking all the criteria into consideration, I’d like to congratulate our top 20 for reaching this stage of the competition as it is no easy feat – I look forward to seeing who makes it through to the UK final.”
Joint award sponsor Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr, the new UK Director of the Norwegian Seafood Council, said: “We would like to offer a huge congratulations to the top 20 shops in the running for this prestigious award.
“In Norway, we’re proud to supply our deliciously sustainable Frozen At Sea cod and haddock sourced from the cold, clear waters of the Barents Sea to UK fish and chip shops. Each year we look forward to sponsoring the awards because it’s our chance to meet like-minded people who are equally passionate about our industry and who can share our enjoyment of high quality, sustainable fish.
“We’re also looking forward to hosting our annual study trip to Ålesund, Norway with the top 10 fish and chip shops. Inviting them to our homeland, they will be able to witness first-hand why the country is regarded as one of the world’s most sustainable fishing nations.”
The winner of the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award will be announced at The National Fish & Chip Awards’ 30th anniversary ceremony in London on 25 January 2018, following a seven-month judging process.
*20 businesses are shortlisted across 10 judging regions: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North East England, North West England, Midlands, Eastern England, London & South East England, Central & Southern England and South West England.