Competing across 10 UK regions, the 60 fish and chip shops will ‘batter’ against each other in the hotly contested race to bag the ultimate title. The UK regions include: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North East England, North West England, Midlands, Eastern England, London & South East England, Central & South England, and South & West England. A full shortlist of all the nominees can be found at www.fishandchipawards.com.
To reach this stage of the competition the fish and chip businesses have had to fry at the top of their game to secure their place in the next stage of the competition. The fish and chip shops have now been judged on their initial entries by industry experts and subjected to mystery shop visits to secretly rate their businesses on a number of criteria, including food quality and customer service. These shops will now be further appraised in order to establish a UK top 20 that will compete for prestigious regional titles.
The competition culminates in an awards ceremony at The Lancaster London hotel on 22 January 2014, hosted by Michelin-starred chef and TV personality Jean-Christophe Novelli, when the overall UK winner will be announced.
The annual National Fish & Chip Awards recognise the quality and choice offered by fish and chip shop businesses across the UK and the event organisers are determined to find the best talent and reward those with the highest standards in the fish frying industry.
Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Seafish, said: “Every year we see the standard of shops getting higher and higher and this year will be no exception. Seafish has been running the awards for 26 years and the calibre of entries demonstrates the battle for the national title will be as fierce as ever.
“The National Fish & Chip Awards has not only improved the standards of the industry and raised awareness of the issues surrounding sustainable fishing practices, but it has also generated additional revenue for the businesses involved adding to the shop’s cachet.”
In October, Seafish will announce the top shop in each of the 10 UK regions for the flagship award. Thereafter, those regional winning shops will be invited on a study trip to Ålesund, 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.
Jack-Robert Møller, UK Director of the Norwegian Seafood Council said: “We are pleased to once again sponsor the Independent Takeaway Fish & Chip Shop of the Year award, and would like to wish all 60 fish & chip shops the very best of luck.
“Norway is fully committed to supporting the UK fish & chip shop industry, and we work hard to supply friers with delicious, fresh, high quality cod and haddock. Sustainability is at the heart of our fishing industry and everything we do centres on ensuring that we continue to have an abundance of cod and haddock in our cold, clear waters for years, and generations, to come.”