The shortlist for one of the most eagerly anticipated categories at the National Fish & Chip Awards 2018 has been announced – Best Newcomer.
Recognising those shops that are excelling in upholding the high standards of the fish and chip trade, but which have only been trading for two years, the semi-finalists are:
• Church Street Fish Bar in Abertillery, Monmouthshire
• Seafare Fish and Chips (Seafare Fish Co) in Cirencester, Gloucestershire
• The Bearded Sailor in Leeds, West Yorkshire
• Flipping & Frying in Newark, Nottinghamshire
• The Fish Works in Largs, North Ayrshire
• Chesil Chippie in Portland, Dorset
• Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove in Chester, Cheshire
• Malt and Anchor in Cirencester, Gloucestershire
• Quayside Restaurant & Fish Bar in Gourdon, Aberdeenshire
• Stone’s Fish and Chips in Acton, London
To reach this stage of the competition, the ten shops have been assessed against a variety of judging criteria, from best adoption of innovative approaches to running a new fish and chip shop, to knowledge and understanding of sustainable and responsible sourcing.
Over the coming weeks, judges will make unannounced visits to shop premises to undertake mystery dining assessments, evaluating both the quality of the fish and chips on offer and the levels of customer service provided.
This next stage of competition judging will determine the three finalists that will compete for the overall national title to be presented at the 30th anniversary awards ceremony in London in January.
Marcus Coleman, chief executive at Seafish, said: “The fish and chip industry is renowned for having long-standing, established businesses that are often passed down through generations of families. Due to this it’s easy to see why starting up a new fish and chip shop can be a daunting experience – but our top ten have certainly risen to the challenge.
“Not only have they proven that they can rustle up the perfect combination of crispy, battered fish and fluffy chips, they’ve demonstrated fantastic knowledge and understanding of the wider hospitality and fishing industries. With exceptionally high levels of dedication and real talent, I’m certain the future of our industry is in good hands and have no doubt that these newcomers will become fantastic ambassadors for the the fish and chip trade.”
Andrew Marriott, UK brand and marketing manager for award sponsor Frymax, added: “The future of our trade relies on top quality and highly motivated fish and chip businesses that are a credit to the industry. This year’s top ten all bring innovative concepts and new ideas to the fish and chip trade – each would be a worthy winner.
“The most enjoyable aspect of our involvement is to see new talented and passionate individuals who are passionately producing great tasting fish and chips for their customers. We wish all the finalists the best of luck in the next round of judging and hope they will enjoy many years of success in our trade."