Yorkshire is UK’s Fish & Chips Capital… again, with Millers Fish & Chips taking the main award
The Fish and Chip 2018 awards luncheon, held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on 25 January, celebrated the UK’s favourite dish. Winners of a whopping 16 categories were announced from the stage by industry titans who see work in Fish and Chip industry as a career, not just a job.
But not before the sumptuous three-course luncheon meal prepared by Lancaster Hotel head chef John Robinson. What was on the menu? For starters, Scottish warm smoked salmon croquette, pastrami of salmon, served with salted cucumber, caper and salmon skin crackling. The main course was roasted Norwegian cod fillet with shellfish pie, saffron mash, mushy peas and spring onion butter sauce elaborately served to not only fill the stomachs but to serve as an inspiration to industry pros and media. It certainly worked.
Fish and chip industry is booming
The fish and chip industry is paramount in the UK, and it was with a great gusto the organisers of the awards confirmed that the industry reported a 9% growth compared to last year. Potentially also due to the fact that the “restaurant trade is suffering,” according to the compere of the day food and drinks presenter Nigel Barden. We heard that despite the largest boom in over ten years (16% growth in 2006), there is still room for improvement. The numbers of consumers belonging to generation Z and millennials are declining and so are numbers of customers buying snacks, as in smaller portions in between main meals times.
One after another, chip & fish shops’ owners, friers and staff were invited onto the stage to receive awards. We are sure it wouldn’t come as a surprise that majority of winners are from Yorkshire. 7 trophies will be making their way to Yorkshire this year. So, if you are planning your chippy tour, you know where to book your tickets. Fancy a picturesque South Coast? Head to Devon, with a total of 6 awards, it’s the second top scoring town county.
Norway fisheries celebrate with the UK
Honorary guest Mona Juul – the Norwegian ambassador to the UK – took to the stage to congratulate the winners and express how pleased she is that the Norwegian cod doesn’t only make it to the UK tables but is also one of the UK’s national dishes. Put in figures, 28% of Norway fish is exported to the UK. That largely contributes to the UK being Norway’s 5th largest market, according to Ms Juul. The ambassador took the opportunity to re-assure the fish and chip industry that “Norway will work closely with the UK so fish trade is not disrupted as a result of Brexit.” Chip chip hooray to that Ms Juul. There was a rapturous applause to that statement.
The Fishermen’s Mission
The awards wouldn’t be awards as we know them without charity. Passing over the flashiest ‘celebrity’ charities, the Fish & Chip Awards is working together with The Fishermen’s Mission. The ‘Fish Mish’ is probably one of the most important charities you probably never even heard of. Being a fisherman is one of the most dangerous professions after the military; a whooping 3300 accidents were reported on duty over the last 10 years; 500 of them – life-changing. Furthermore, statistics show that on average, one fisherman is killed on duty every 5 weeks, according to Marcus Coleman, CEO of Seafish. The Fishermen’s Mission provides a lifeline of welfare and support for fishermen and their families.
Back to the awards.
Fish and Chip Shop of the Year winners:
3rd place – Harbourside Fish & Chips, Plymouth, Devon
2nd place – Burton Road Chippy, Lincoln, Lincolnshire