A POPULAR Plympton chippy has been crowned the best fish and chip shop in the UK.
Kingfisher Fish and Chips scooped the ultimate title – Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year – at the 2017 National Fish and Chip Awards earlier this month.
Kingfisher beat off stiff competition from nine other regional finalists to take top prize in what organisers are calling ‘the Oscars of the fish frying industry’.
Shop owners Nikki Mutton and Craig Maw were presented with their award by BBC Radio 2’s Nigel Barden at a prestigious ceremony in London.
To secure top spot, Kingfisher had to go through a rigorous judging process over a seven-month period, including mystery shopping assessments and in-depth audits by industry experts.
These looked at everything from responsible sourcing policies to menu diversification – and of course, customer service levels and the quality of the fish and chips being served.
The final stage of judging put the shop’s presentation skills to the test as they faced a 14-strong specialist industry panel and had to ‘fry off’ against their fellow finalists.
Nikki and Craig said: ‘We are absolutely elated. We’ve entered this award three times now, coming second last year, so to go all the way is amazing – I guess three really is a charm.
‘We’ve only owned the shop for four years and have already achieved some amazing things; we have the world’s most sustainable seafood menu, are one of only two fish and chip businesses in the UK to have a three star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, along with over 25 industry and non-industry awards, but I have to admit that winning this award is the pinnacle of our careers.
‘We’ve worked hard to take sustainability to the next level and this is at the core of our business. We’re proud to offer over 12 Marine Stewardship Council certified fish species, but we’ve not stopped there; we even use QR codes to let customers trace the journey of their fish.
‘It feels like everything we’ve worked for has come to fruition now. We’re more than ready to take the crown, and look forward to championing our industry and the nation’s favourite takeaway.’
Ben Bartlett, Master Craftsman of the Craft Guild of Chefs, and a member of this year’s final judging panel commented: ‘This year was definitely Kingfisher’s year – they stood out for their extensive knowledge and experience, robust sourcing policies, forward-thinking approach, and continual business growth.
‘With inspiring passion, they are consistently looking to improve their offering and strive for perfection – making them extremely worthy winners and the perfect ambassadors for the fish and chip industry.’
Chief executive of industry body Seafish Marcus Coleman added:
‘The judging process is extremely challenging with shops thoroughly being put through their paces,
but this year, it was Kingfisher’s boundless enthusiasm and commitment that made them stand out as a clear winner.’