Competing across 10 regions, the shops will ‘batter’ against each other in this hotly contested race to bag the ultimate title. The regions include: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North East England, North West England, Midlands, Eastern England, London & South East England, Central & Southern England and South West England. A shortlist of all the nominees can be found at www.fishandchipawards.com.
Fish and chip businesses have had to fry at the top of their game to secure a place as a top 60 shop. Each was judged by industry experts and visited by a mystery diner. These shops are assessed on criteria including product quality, sustainable sourcing, marketing and customer service. This next stage will whittle down the top 60 shops to establish the UK top 20 which will compete for prestigious ‘regional’ titles.
Culminating in an awards ceremony at The Lancaster London Hotel on 20 January 2015, The National Fish & Chip Awards recognise the quality and choice offered by fish and chip shop businesses across Britain. Every year event organisers Seafish seek out the best talent to recognise those achieving the highest standards in the fish frying industry.
Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Seafish, said: “These awards have not only improved the industry standards by consistently rewarding and testing businesses, they have also raised positive awareness of the issues surrounding sustainable fishing practices and encouraged shops to implement sustainable sourcing.
“Last year we witnessed some of the highest calibre of entrants ever. The bar is constantly rising and we can’t wait to see the top fryers battle it out this year.”
In October, Seafish will announce the top 10 regional shops competing for the flagship award. These shops will then be invited on a study trip to Norway, organised by award sponsor the Norwegian Seafood Council to see first-hand why Norway is regarded as one of the world’s most sustainable fishing nations.
Stuart Fusco, owner of Quayside and last year’s winner of the Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year, commented: “Being named Britain’s best fish and chip takeaway was a dream come true. Our family business has worked hard towards achieving this award for many years, and after winning sales increased significantly.
“The judging process is very rigorous and challenging, but ultimately it comes down to your enthusiasm and love for the industry. Fish and chips are our family’s passion, and it’s an honour to be recognised for all our hard work. We would highly recommend getting involved in the competition because the opportunities have been superb and we have loved every minute.”