All eyes are on three chip shops in County Durham and Wales which have made it to the National Fish and Chip Awards’ Field to Frier category final.
There have been several tough rounds with industry experts conducting interviews and examining the hopefuls’ knowledge on all-things potato, including seasonal variety selection, approaches for preparation and storage, as well as frying methods for the all-important, crunchy exterior and fluffy-centred chip.
The awards’ judging processes are designed so that competitors are required to dig deep to help raise the bar on standards and keep the fish and chip industry energised and full of opportunity.
The awards ceremony on 28 February at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is the next stop for the finalists, where they’ll find out who the Field to Frier winner is. The businesses hoping to be crowned all that and a bag of chips are:
Bells Fish and Chips, Durham
Finney’s Fish and Chips, Benllech
Ship Deck, Caerphilly
Andrew Crook, president at the National Federation of Fish Friers, which organises the National Fish and Chip Awards, says the Field to Frier category has been outstanding. “The level of knowledge and skills these three fantastic fish and chip shops have demonstrated to the experts is to be greatly applauded.
“The care and passion for creating delicious food is a testament to their success and there’s no doubt that these chippies have even more to offer not only to their customers but to the industry as well. It’s inspiring to be associated with such great businesses and to play a small part in encouraging their growth.”
Isle of Ely Produce, supplier of more than two million bags of potatoes to the fish and chip industry annually, is sponsoring the award alongside Agrico and its Babylon variety – a newcomer in the potato game which is proving to be a hit with UK chippies.
Alex Moore, sales manager for Agrico, comments: “This is an extremely good top three for our Field to Frier category. We look forward to them all trying Babylon potatoes soon and the day of the awards to crown the winner.”
Isle of Ely Director Oliver Boutwood adds: “Once again, our award has been hotly contested. Here at Isle of Ely Produce we look to champion the journey of the potato, and these three finalists will all help us to do this in the coming year.”