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30 Minutes With…Gary Sharples, Lighthouse Fisheries of Flamborough, Bridlington, East Yorkshire

Home » Interviews » 30 Minutes With…Gary Sharples, Lighthouse Fisheries of Flamborough, Bridlington, East Yorkshire

How did you get into the industry?

I gave up the pub I rented in the Lake District when the first lockdown was announced and decided to change my career. I travelled back home to East Yorkshire, we put our house on the market, downsized and started to look for the next opportunity. The shop became available during this time and although pretty derelict at the time and having been closed for two years, we had great memories of our family visiting when my kids were a lot younger. We took the plunge and my wife, Jayne, and my son, Warren, purchased the building.

What’s your favourite food?

It has to be really good fish and chips, eaten hot and fresh. There is no other meal in my opinion that creates such an expectation when you order it, that creates and brings back memories, and that works indoors, outdoors and in all weathers.

Is there a food you won’t eat?

Cucumber, the only food thats taste stays longer than the time it took to grow it! Terrible stuff.

Where have you had the best fish and chips?

In no way am I trying to avoid the question, but I would have to separate the two. The best chips I have ever had were made by my grandad, William Sherry. Fifty years ago, he was soaking, blanching and triple cooking his chips at home. My brother and myself used to go to his house for lunch from school twice a week. He has been the inspiration for our chips at Lighthouse Fisheries and we are still trying to mirror what he produced.

As for the best fish, I would have to say Teals Chippy in Oldham. Again, many years ago, we lived around the corner and it’s my earliest memories of fish and chips – skin on cod in those days, fantastic.

What side is a must with your fish and chips?

Homemade mushy peas always, natural though – no colourings – hot and fresh.

If you could open a fish and chip shop anywhere, where would it be?

California. My son, Warren, lives there and I would love to take our product to a beachfront venue where you could eat fish and chips watching those amazing sunsets.

Do you have a favourite restaurant?

We don’t eat out often as we are working in the shop and, if we do, we would tend to keep trying somewhere different. There is a very good family-owned Italian called Cantina in Filey which never disappoints and we love the fact that all the family work there.

What dish reminds you most of your childhood?

I have two. The first one is breast of lamb slow roasted over mashed potatoes and onions, another one by William Sherry. Secondly, Holland’s pies and puddings, every chippy in Oldham sold them and I was happy to eat as many as possible. They did seem a lot bigger when I was ten though!

What’s been your weirdest food combination?

That would be porridge with roast chicken and chilli. Jayne and I were served this for breakfast in Bali. I did the polite thing and ate the lot!

What one piece of equipment would you love to purchase for your business?

A fish thawing fridge. I’m so jealous of my colleagues who have them.

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