ONE of the city’s newest chippies is fighting to be crowned the nation’s best after being named in the top 10 of the UK’s new fish and chip shops.
The Fisherman’s Kitchen, in Southsea, has been revealed as a semi-finalist in the ‘Best Newcomer Award’ of the 2019 National Fish & Chip Awards.
Now the Clarendon Road chippy will be battling it out with nine over food joints from across the UK to scoop the prestigious accolade.
The awards do is the Oscars for the nation’s mighty £10bn fish and chips shop industry, with winners being announced at a glamorous celebration in London next year.
Gary Moreton-Jones, co-owner of The Fisherman’s Kitchen, said his team was thrilled to have been shortlisted.
The 44-year-old, who runs the venue with business partner Ian Clarke, said: ‘We’re over the moon to have been shortlisted.
‘We’re really, really proud of all the team we have got, who always welcome customers with a friendly smile.’
He added: ‘This is like the Oscars for the fish and chip shop industry. It’s just amazing.’
The chippy opened during the August bank holiday weekend in 2017.
Since then it has grown a loyal fan base – and a solid reputation for fresh fish, sourced locally.
Gary said he wanted to create a fish and chip shop that was ‘different from the rest’.
‘We’re aiming to be the next generation of fish and chip shop, that’s different from the traditional chippies out there,’ he said.
‘We want to look at the next 100 years and be a fish and chip shop fit for the next century.’
He said to do that, The Fisherman’s Kitchen works on an environmentally-friendly ethos.
The outlet uses recycled packaging for its meals and serves food from sustainable sources.
There is also less emphasis on deep frying fish, with a focus on healthier alternatives like grilled fish.
These were all areas judges of the competition were looking for.
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.
Gary said he was ready, adding: ‘I’ve already called last year’s winner asking for any tips and words of advice. But what he said is what we do already.’
The finalists will compete for the winner’s title at the National Fish & Chip Awards ceremony in London on January 24.
Marcus Coleman, chief executive of Seafish, which runs the contest, 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.
‘These 10 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.’