Winning at Whiteheads

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Geoff Whitehead, Whitehead's Fish & Chips

Whiteheads in Hornsea, East Yorkshire, has mastered its batter with Goldensheaf Standard giving the golden, crisp finish its customers know and love

In February this year, Whiteheads was crowned winner of National Fish & Chip Takeaway of the Year, having entered the award three times previously. 

Each year owner Geoff Whitehead entered, he was spurred on to do better the next time by making improvements to his business, for example, achieving MSC certification, installing solar panels and sending used cooking oil to be recycled and reused. 

About six years ago, one of those improvements involved changing his batter mix in a bid to raise the quality of his fish and chips. 

“Our batter was a product we’d used for years and years but it was going a little bit too soggy for my liking,” says Geoff. “We did a re-evaluation where we tried lots of different batters, we even had a bespoke one made. It took us about three months to get the batter right, which is when we hit upon Goldensheaf Standard from Kerry Taste & Nutrition.

Mixing Goldensheaf Standard with what Geoff will only divulge as “some additional ingredients”, produced the crisp finish he was after. Geoff comments: “I like Goldensheaf Standard a lot. It gives a lovely golden colour to the batter, it’s nice and crisp and it stays firm for quite a long time.”

Making up batter little and often – very often in fact as Geoff says a 15-litre bucket lasts only 40 minutes on a busy shift – Geoff has the whole team trained in the art of batter mixing. He says: “The instructions are all up on the wall so the staff know the exact amount of water to use and they have to ensure that the water is icy cold as that’s the key. And the other thing is that the team know to use a flow cup and time the batter so the consistency is right every time.

“Batter is so important to get right. My customers know exactly what they’re getting and if it’s not the same, they don’t want to know. They’ll send it back!”

Although Geoff is still looking at ways to improve his business and move it forward – his latest project has him sourcing wind turbines for the roof of his restaurant – changing his batter is not on the agenda. He adds: “We’ve got the batter mastered now so I don’t need to change anything. It’s absolutely perfect.”

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