Three West Yorkshire fish and chip shops are battling it out to be named as 'best newcomer' in a prestigious national award.
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The Hook and Line at the Merrion Centre and The Bearded Sailor in Pudsey, both in Leeds, have both reached the semi-final stage of the 2019 National Fish and Chip Awards.
The Knights of Pontefract, based in Pontefract, is also in the running to progress to the next stage of the competition, with ten chippies doing battle nationally.
Each of these entrepreneurial start-ups has been judged against a variety of criteria including: the level of innovation displayed when running a fish and chip shop, knowledge and understanding of sustainability and responsible sourcing of products, customer service levels and the quality of fish and chips they serve.
For the next stage, judges will make unannounced mystery dining visits where they will carefully examine each of the businesses, to determine the top three newcomers.
The finalists will then compete for the winner’s title at the National Fish & Chip Awards ceremony in London on January 24, 2019.
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, said: “The Best Newcomer category shows that it is possible to excel as a fish and chip shop, even in the very early years of operating. Hard work, determination and commitment to quality in all areas will be repaid with results and this is what has led each of these shops to the semi-final of this award.
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“These ten shops are off to a flying start on their fish and chip journey and should be congratulated for making their business such a success in a short period of time. Good luck to all in the next round.”
Andrew Marriott, UK Brand and Marketing Manager for award sponsor Frymax, the leading all-vegetable frying fat for the fish and chip trade, added: “Sponsoring the Best Newcomer Award category is a real pleasure. Every year it provides further proof that the UK’s passion for serving quality fish and chips is alive and well. These ten semi-finalists have demonstrated their commitment, work ethic and love of all things fish and chips.
“Each of them should be proud of the impact they’ve already made on the industry given that they’ve only been trading for a short time. We wish them all the best in the next round of judging.”
For more information about fish and chips: www.fishisthedish.co.uk/win/national-fish-chip-awards or follow @fishisthedish.
Top ten best newcomers:
Alma Park Fish Bar, Grantham, Lincolnshire
Felixstowe Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe, Suffolk
Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove, Chester, Cheshire
FishFace, Lichfield, Staffordshire
Hook and Line, Leeds, West Yorkshire
Knights of Pontefract, Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Paignton Pier Chippy Co., Paignton, Devon
The Bearded Sailor, Leeds, West Yorkshire
The Fisherman’s Kitchen, Southsea, Portsmouth
The Friary, Beauly, Inverness-shire