Operators share their knowledge after returning home from Iceland study tour

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Iceland trip

The winner and the runner-up in the Restaurant of Year category at the 2024 National Fish and Chip Award have returned from a study tour to Iceland where they experienced firsthand the country’s fishing culture and heritage.

Knight’s Fish Restaurant in Glastonbury and Noah’s in Bristol were joined on the trip, hosted by category sponsor Seafood from Iceland, by last year’s winner Fish City in Belfast. 

The first location on their whistle-stop tour was Reykjavik where they visited Brim, a key producer of sea-frozen fillets for the British market and received an onboard tour of the freezer trawler Vigri RE 71. 

From here they visited Iceland Ocean Cluster, which works with organisations globally to improve the utilisation of seafood and fostering innovation, as well as tasting Iceland’s ‘home grown’ fish and chips at Fish and Chips Vagninn, a finalist in the Overseas Chip Shop category at this year’s awards.

The group then headed to the beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula to experience the unique nature and warm hospitality of the locals where they enjoyed sailing and sea angling. They also enjoyed a Fishermen’s Day programme in Rif, a visit to the Freezer (Apartments & Culture Centre) and a Fishermen’s Day ball in Ólafsvík. 

Björgvin Þór Björgvinsson, project manager at Seafood from Iceland, sponsor of the award, said: “In our visits we met a lot of people and all of them were so open to share their knowledge, experience and passion which is all related to the fish and the fishing industry. Our foreign guests have returned to their homes and are helping us to tell the story about the Icelandic fish, how tasty it was, how responsibly sourced it is and the big role it plays in the UK fish and chip industry.”

Kevin and Charlotte Mitchell, owners of Knight’s Fish Restaurant, said that since returning home, they have proudly shared with customers everything they learned about cod and the fishing industry in Iceland. Kevin added: “We also told them we were on the trawler that caught the fish they were about to eat. 

“Winning this award has been a great experience for us, but the opportunity to visit Iceland was the icing on the cake!”

Kate Authers, a representative for Noah’s in Bristol, added: “We were thrilled to get a such an incredible insight into our most popular dish and meet the people who work so hard to bring us the freshest catch from Icelandic waters. It’s such a beautiful country and an incredible opportunity for us to be able to share our learnings directly with our customers.”

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