Scotland’s top seven fish and chip shops were announced recently as part of the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
The local shops, part of the top 60 shortlisted across the UK, will now ‘batter’ it out as they vie to become Scotland’s regional winner, placing them in competition to bag the ultimate national title - Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year.
The shortlisted shops in Scotland are: Cameron’s Chip Shop in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis; Cromars in St Andrews, Fife; Fochabers Fish Bar in Fochabers, Moray; The Trawler in Golspie, Sutherland; Forehill Café in Ayr, Ayrshire; Moore’s Fish & Chips in Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway and The Plaice To Be in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
To get to this stage and secure a place in the coveted shortlist, shops have been appraised across a variety of judging criteria including responsible sourcing policies, marketing and promotional practices and staff training policies.
Over the coming weeks, they will be subjected to further judging as they receive mystery shopping assessments by industry experts. The next stage of the competition will whittle down the line up, establishing a UK top 20 which will compete for the prestigious ‘regional’ titles.
Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Seafish, said: “The aim of the awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses in the UK while setting incredibly high standards for the industry to aspire to.
“The Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest honours to receive as a fish and chip business. Many of our past winners and finalists have gone on to reap substantial benefits, including international fame through industry trips overseas, increased shop footfall and turnover and even launching their own products.
“It’s great to see so many excellent shops through to this stage of the competition. I’d like to offer up my congratulations and wish them the best as they prepare to continue their quest towards winning a regional title, but also thank them for consistently helping us to reinforce the UK’s reputation as the home of the world’s best fish and chips.”
Carlyn Kearney of Frankie’s Fish & Chips in Brae, Shetland, winner of the 2015 Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award, commented: “Being crowned champion was a huge honour for everyone here at Frankie’s. It was a goal for us since the moment we opened our doors in 2008 and since winning we’ve experienced so many benefits – including having customers travel over 700 miles just to get a taste of our fish and chips!
“The judging process is very rigorous and challenging, but it’s worth every second of the hard work and effort involved. It’s a roller coaster experience and we would urge anyone with a passion for producing high quality, great tasting fish and chips to join the ride.”
Culminating in an awards ceremony at The Lancaster London Hotel in January 2016, 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, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses.
In October, Seafish will announce the top 10 region winning shops competing for the flagship award. These shops will then be invited on an all-expense paid study trip to Ålesund, Norway, organised by award sponsor the Norwegian Seafood Council, to witness first-hand why the country is regarded as one of the world’s most sustainable fishing nations.