Fish and chip awards celebrating a ‘truly world class’ industry

Whitby Fishing School Awards 2016. Jordon Harrison wins the George Traves Excellence award. w1424a . Pic: Scott Wicking.
Whitby Fishing School Awards 2016. Jordon Harrison wins the George Traves Excellence award. w1424a . Pic: Scott Wicking.

Here at Seafish we waste little time at the start of each year before we get going with a major event.

Yes, that’s right, every January we play host to the National Fish & Chip Awards and this year is no different.

This is the 29th year that the awards have been held, and from relatively humble beginnings back in 1988, they have grown to become a magnificent celebration of an industry where quality, commitment, skills and expertise, knowledge and customer service reach ever higher standards year-on-year.

The awards represent an opportunity to celebrate everything that is great about the fish and chip industry in the UK; an industry that we know is truly ‘world class’.

The annual awards ceremony is once again sold-out with 600 people attending.

While Seafish run the awards, there are a range of partners and sponsors without whose support the awards program would not be possible. We are grateful to each and every one of them for their valued contributions.

We have a truly international group of sponsors and supporters nowadays which reflects the worldwide importance of the fish and chip and wider seafood industry.

The enthusiasm and support we receive year-on-year is part of the success story of fish and chips, and long may it continue.

This year I am very much looking forward to playing my own small part in the event – yes, the day before the awards I will be chairing the final judging panel, who will be meeting with representatives from the Top 10 regional winning shops in theIndependent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Awardcategory to put them on the spot for one last time, before making their final deliberations.

I know how much it means to all the finalists so I see it as a big responsibility. The judges include representatives from the National Federation of Fish Friers, the National Edible Oils Distributors Association, AHDB Potatoes, the fish supply and foodservice sectors, the Craft Guild of Chefs, along with a number of media sector representatives and two previous national winners.

For the award presentations themselves we are delighted to be welcoming back our host, Nigel Barden. Nigel is a highly acclaimed food critic, journalist and broadcaster who has worked on numerous flagship BBC radio shows including the Simon Mayo and Chris Evans shows.

Please do come and say hello at the awards if you are heading there later this month – what a great way to start 2017!