FRANKIE’s Fish & Chips in Brae, Shetland, Scotland, is now officially the best fish and chip shop in the UK after frying out on top at the 2015 National Fish & Chip Awards yesterday, organised by Seafish.
The shop was crowned the Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year by awards host and voice of food and drink reason on BBC Radio 2, Nigel Barden, during a prestigious ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel in London.
To earn their spot at the top, Frankie’s Fish & Chips went through a rigorous, multi-stage judging process during the last few months.
The judging culminated in a presentation to a panel of industry judges by the top ten finalists representing respective parts of the UK – all competing against each other in a Dragon’s Den style pitch as they fought to win.
Valerie Johnson, owner of Frankie’s Fish & Chips, said: ‘We now get to go home to Shetland and say that our fish and chips are the best in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales – without exception. How amazing is that.
‘This is the highlight of my working life. I can’t thank Seafish and my brilliant team enough. You’re a credit to the seafood industry. 2015 is Frankie’s year.’
The final 10 places were shortlisted during earlier judging rounds, which included unannounced shop visits from industry judges.
They were assessed on a wide variety of judging criteria including product quality, sustainable sourcing policies, marketing initiatives and customer service.
Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Seafish, commented: ‘Every year we see new and established talent vie for the top title, and the competition gets fiercer each year.
‘This year was no exception and the judges were faced with a particularly tricky job in determining a winner.
‘Frankie’s Fish & Chips stood out throughout the judging process. Their passion and determination has to be admired. I would like to offer my warmest congratulations and wish them the best success in the future.
‘The standards of entrants across all award categories improves year on year. Unwavering commitment to the industry and the efforts made towards responsible sourcing and maintaining standards are vital in ensuring future generations can enjoy the nation’s favourite dish.’
In addition to wining the top prize, Frankie’s cleaned up by taking home the Good Catch – The Sustainable Seafood Award.
Sponsored by MSC and MCS, this category recognises fish and chip businesses that are leading the way in the sourcing and promotion of sustainable fish and shellfish, working to protect supplies so they are available for future generations to enjoy.
George Clark, UK Commercial Manager of co-sponsor, MSC, said: ‘With entries growing stronger every year this award has never been so competitive, making our role as judges even more challenging.
‘It’s always interesting to discover the different approaches that businesses adopt to promote their sourcing of sustainable seafood and educating customers.’
Sam Stone, Fisheries Officer of co-sponsor, MCS, commented: ‘It’s brilliant to see our fish and chip shops embracing sustainable seafood and supporting the most sustainable fisheries and farms like those that are Green Rated by MCS or certified by the MSC. The only thing better than a delicious fish supper is a delicious and sustainable fish supper.’
Now in their 27th year, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK.
They celebrate the great British tradition of fish and chips, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses across the UK.
The Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest honours to receive as a fish and chip business. Previous winners have gone on to great success and reported sales increases of up to 100 per cent.