The UK’s top 10 fish and chip shops have been announced today (Tuesday 4 October) by the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
Shortlisted as part of the awards which are widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, the 10 shops will now compete for the ultimate accolade – Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year – and aim to claim to the title of ‘best fish and chip shop’ in the UK.
Covering the length and breadth of the country*, the 10 finalists are:
To get to this stage and secure a top spot, contenders have had to fry at the top of their game, facing appraisal by industry experts across a variety of criteria including menu development and innovation, sustainable sourcing policies, staff training processes, and marketing and promotional activities.
They also received mystery shopping assessments to ascertain customer service levels and the quality of fish and chips, along with in-depth judging audits to appraise a wide range of criteria including ingredient storage and preparation processes, cleanliness and integrity of shop equipment and observation of cooking practices.
Having being crowned the top shop in each of their respective regions, the hopefuls will now put their presentation skills to the test in one last judging round. Facing a specialist judging panel – consisting of representatives from leading trade bodies, the fish and potato supply sectors and past awards champions – they’ll be quizzed on a diverse range of industry related topics and be required to demonstrate how they successfully run a profitable business and plan for future development.
Held in London on 25 January 2016, this final judging stage will determine the overall national winner that will be announced at an awards ceremony on 26 January 2016.
Handing over the crown will be current champions, Simpsons Fish & Chips in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, winners of the 2016 Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award. James and Bonny Ritchie of Simpsons Fish & Chips commented:
“Winning the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards was a life changing experience and a moment we’ll treasure forever.”
“From the minute we were crowned winners we saw a dramatic increase in business across both our takeaway and restaurant. The award has given us real recognition and respect, and opened doors we wouldn’t have dreamed were possible – we’re even travelling all the way to Japan next month to showcase our fish and chips!”
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, added:
“The Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest honours a fish and chip business can receive. The judging process is extremely challenging with shops thoroughly being put through their paces – these 10 finalists are a credit to the industry and I commend them for reaching this stage of the competition.”
Before the finalists head down to London for the grand finale, representatives from each shop will be treated to an all-expenses paid study trip to Norway, courtesy of sponsors the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Visiting the port city of Ålesund on the Norwegian west coast, finalists will discover and learn all about the supply chain of Frozen At Sea (FAS) fish from Norway to the UK. They will have the chance to witness the whole fishing process; from catch to processing and filleting, and have an opportunity to learn about the science behind Norway’s successful fishery management policies and practices, making it one of the world’s most sustainable fishing nations.
The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. They celebrate the Great British tradition of fish and chips, showcasing the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses through 13 different award categories.
For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards or to view the full top 60 and 20 shortlist visit: www.fishandchipawards.com. Follow @FishnChipAwards on Twitter for all the awards news and information.
*Shops compete 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.