Whitby honoured in Yorkshire and Britain - and Japan is also a big fan!

Exterior of Magpie Cafe for food review.
Exterior of Magpie Cafe for food review.
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Whitby is the toast of Yorkshire and Britain - and even Japan.

A pair of booming businesses in the town have picked up awards at glittering ceremonies.

Whitby’s Magpie Cafe recently scooped the Best Seafood Establishment award at the glamorous England and Wales Food Awards.

Former Miss UK Rachelle Perez handed over the gong at the black tie bash at Manchester’s Piccadilly Hotel.

The inaugural award was voted for by the public, and organiser Yasmin Mahmood said: “It was a fantastic evening and was a great pleasure to be among the top restaurants, takeaways, pubs, bars and hotels.”

And at the annual White Rose awards, which celebrate the best of Yorkshire, Whitby was represented by Dillons, which was highly commended in the B&B Guest Accommodation of the Year category.

The cream of the region’s tourism firms rubbed shoulders with celebs including the cast of Emmerdale and Great British Bake Off winner Nancy Birtwhistle.

“It was absolutely amazing to be in that sort of environment, and it was full of a lovely mix of people from all over Yorkshire,” said owner Mathew Brown, who along with partner Craig Stimson plan on going one better in 2015.

In total 16 awards were handed out at Harrogate’s Yorkshire Event Centre, and Gary Verity, chief executive of organisers Welcome to Yorkshire, said the couple should be “incredibly proud” of their success.

He added: “It’s been an historic year for Yorkshire and our county’s profile as a destination has never been higher.

“Our awards are our way of recognising and celebrating how amazing our tourism businesses are.”

And a ‘high frying’ chippy has been making waves almost 6,000 miles away.

Third-generation frier Raymond Fusco has swapped Pier Road for the sprawling neon-lit metropolis’ of Osaka and Fukuoka.

The award-winning Quayside cook has been serving up over 1,200 portions of fish and chips to hungry Japanese shoppers every day.

He’s been serving scraps at posh shopping centres as part of a festival of British grub.

And the Japanese have been lapping up Raymond’s bait - queuing for up to two hours for an authentic taste of the Yorkshire coast!

“I couldn’t have dreamed of getting the reaction that we did - people were running to get to the front of the queue,” said Raymond, a former Young Fish Frier of the Year winner.

“I really wanted to show the Japanese customers what proper British fish and chips are all about.”

He was invited to represent his family’s restaurant at the giant Hakata Hankyu and Hankyu Umeda shopping centres, which are billed as the Harrod’s of the Far East.

And while serving up suppers to some of the centres’ 50 million annual customers, Raymond became something of a celebrity.

“Something that I definitely didn’t anticipate was the number of customers wanting to have a picture taken with me, so I needed to pause for a second for the picture and then get back to work,” he added.