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Success for Ship Deck at The National Fish & Chip Awards 2024

Home » News » Success for Ship Deck at The National Fish & Chip Awards 2024
Ship Deck

A family-run fish and chip shop in Cardiff has taken the title of Fish & Chip Takeaway of the Year at The National Fish & Chip Awards 2024.

Ship Deck, led by husband-and-wife duo Ryan and Kimberly Hughes, has emerged victorious after just five years in business. The win marks a significant achievement, not only for Ship Deck but also for Wales, securing the title for the third time in the award’s history.

Ship Deck, with a dedicated team of 16, has captured the hearts and taste buds of its community by not only serving classic cod and haddock but also offering a diverse menu featuring popular vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. This win follows two consecutive appearances as finalists and reflects the team’s commitment to excellence.

Expressing his excitement, Ryan said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic and in shock, I really wasn’t expecting to win this year. I’m extremely proud of the team we’ve got and of the community we’ve got. Being a small shop, it is a big thing for us to win. I’ve always been spurred on to show that a small shop can put out big numbers and we’ve shown that.”

For Ryan, the journey began seven years ago when he won Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year. This achievement fuelled his ambition to open Ship Deck and strive for greatness.

Reflecting on their humble beginnings, Ryan adds: “Winning Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year in 2016 progressed me as a person. When we opened Ship Deck, we didn’t have a bean but we didn’t finance anything, we just worked our socks off, we put everything we had into it and, thankfully, five years later it has paid off.”

Phoning through to the shop after the announcement, Ryan had one order for the staff: “I said top the oils up and get ready.”

Second place went to Yarm Road Fish and Chips in Darlington, County Durham, while The Fish Works in Largs, North Ayrshire, finished third. 

The awards ceremony, hosted by comedian Rob Beckett at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel, saw a total of fifteen accolades being presented. Notable among them were the Drywite Young Fish Frier and Best Newcomer awards, both claimed by Redcloak Fish Bar in Stonehaven.

Owner Jamie Russo, who has been in the industry for over nine years, but only opened Redcloak Fish Bar nine months ago, comments: “Winning Drywite Young Fish Frier is incredible. I’ve got to meet the guys I was up against over the past few months and every single one of them could have won.”

Apart from his frying ability, Jamie believes the reason for his win is his passion for the industry, adding: “I love fish and chips, I love the industry. I had a career in accountancy and I decided to give that up for fish and chips and it’s paying off 100%.”

On winning Best Newcomer, Jamie added: “We’ve only been open nine months so to achieve this in such a short time is incredible. 

“Redcloak was the first shop I ever worked in nine years ago so when it came onto the market I knew I wanted to get back in there and put my own spin on things.”

In the Restaurant category, the South West of England dominated, with Knight’s Fish Restaurant in Glastonbury claiming the top spot, Pier Point Restaurant in Torquay securing second place, and Noah’s in Bristol taking the third spot.

George Morey, manager and fifth generation of Knight’s Fish Restaurant, comments: “We’re overwhelmed at winning Best Restaurant as the category had five absolutely fantastic restaurants. We are a family business that has been going for 114 years, we would never put ourselves in that echelon with them, but we are overwhelmed.”

Attributing their success to their commitment, family effort, hard work and knowing their product, the team live streamed the awards to TV screens in the shop so staff could share in the celebrations. George adds: “We’ve got a great video of them losing it!”

The full list of winners: 

Takeaway of the Year

1st: Ship Deck – Caerphilly, Wales

2nd: Yarm Road Fish and Chips – Darlington, County Durham

3rd: The Fish Works – Largs, Scotland

Restaurant of the Year

1st: Knights Fish Restaurant – Glastonbury, Somerset

2nd: Pier Point Restaurant – Torquay, Devon

3rd: Noah’s – Bristol

Field to Frier

Bells Fish and Chips – Durham, County Durham

Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year

Jamie Russo from Redcloak Fish Bar in Stonehaven, Scotland

Newcomer of the Year 

Redcloak Fish Bar – Stonehaven, Scotland

Employee of the Year

Jamie Toland – Taylors, Greater Manchester

Mobile Operator of the Year

Jojo’s Fish and Chips – Stafford, Staffordshire

Multiple Operator of the Year

Bells Fish and Chips – Durham, County Durham

Environment and Sustainability Award

Whiteheads Fish and Chips – Hornsea, East Yorkshire

Staff Training and Development Award

The Real Food Café – Tyndrum, Scotland

Marketing & Innovation Award

Zero Plus Fish & Chips – Cardiff, Wales

Quality Accreditation Champion

French’s Fish Shop – Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk

Overseas Fish and Chip Shop

Wright’s Fish and Chips – Georgia, USA

Supplier of The Year Award

Ceres

Outstanding Achievement

Derek Dews, T.Quality

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