Shetland fish and chip shop named Britain’s best
Frankie’s Fish & Chips in Brae, Shetland, Scotland, has scooped the flagship Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year award at the 27th annual National Fish & Chip Awards in London, organized by Seafish.
On collecting the award from event host, BBC food and drink presenter Nigel Barden, Frankie’s Manager John Gold told the 520 guests that the business would be proud to champion the industry throughout 2015.
“We will take this award home but look forward to being a great ambassador for the fish and chip industry as a whole,” said Gold.
The family-owned café and takeaway, which has been in the trade for six years, was runner-up last year.
In addition to winning the main prize, Frankie’s also won the Good Catch — The Sustainable Seafood Award, jointly sponsored by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Marine Conservation Society, which recognizes fish-and-chip businesses that lead the way in the sourcing and promoting sustainable seafood.
Other big winners at this year’s ceremony included: Burton Road Chippy in Lincoln, which took the Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award; Rockfish of Devon, which won both the Best Multiple Fish and Chip Operator and the Community Contribution awards; and Rachel Tweedale of The Elite Dish & Chip Company, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, who was awarded the Young Fish Frier of the Year Award.
The awards were initiated in 1988 to raise standards across the industry and to reward individual “chippies” judged to be going that extra bit further. Today, it’s a major social event, attracting considerable media attention.
Participation in the competition is also good for trade. According to Seafish, previous winners have gone on to report sales increases of up to 100 percent.
Today there are approximately 10,500 takeaway fish-and-chip shops in the United Kingdom, collectively serving around 380 million meals annually and generating sales of around GBP 1.2 billion (EUR 1.6 billion; USD 1.8 billion). While the number of outlets has fallen significantly since the peak in the late 1920s when there were about 35,000 chippies, there continue to be plenty of new entrants to the sector, many of which are bringing a more contemporary feel to the trade.
“This is a remarkable industry and in these fancy food times, it’s right up there. There is much to celebrate,” said Barden.