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National Fish & Chip Awards 2016 – The Top 10


[Music plays]>>I got into fish and chips all by accident.
I was at an Irish wake!>>I was born into it!>>Fish was always in our blood.>>I happened to be visiting my dad.>>Saw a gap in the market really and I thought I wanted
to do a fish and chip shop that was slightly different.>>I had friends of mine who had
been in the trade 40 years.>>So I started doing a Tuesday and Thursday night for
my father. At that time I was living on a pig farm.>>I just got a full time job as a fryer, I started seeing
Linda, and then it just went on from there. [Music plays]>>Right across these islands fish and chips is
very important and you’ll always know the best fish and chip shop wherever you live, I think.>>It’s an iconic British delicacy.
Who doesn’t love it?>>Love the staff here.
Absolutely love working here.>>I just love the daily challenges.
No two days are the same.>>I’m just really excited to be here.>>I just absolutely love fish and chips to be honest with
you. I eat them every day – if Linda’s not listening! [Music plays]>>We have to have a bar where everyone
is going to aim for, and I think the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year
competitions are that bar.>>The awards have raised the profile of fish
and chips over the last few years. Anybody that enters soon gets to know that
this is good for our business.>>So when we got the call to say that we were
in the Top 10 we were all absolutely, really overwhelmed – really happy.>>It was my goal since I started doing fish
and chips for the last 6 years is really one to do in Wales. So when I had the phone call –
that was the best feeling. I’ve had 4 kids and it’s almost as good as that. [Music plays]>>The industry’s changed massively since I
started in 1984. There was no VAT on fish and chips back then, which was great! [Music plays]>>It’s a highly skilled job. It takes a long
time to be able to do it properly, and it’s one of those products that, if
it’s not done properly, you can really tell. [Music plays]>>People don’t understand the amount of work
that goes into it. We have customers coming in in an evening, saying
“Crikey, I saw you – you’ve had a long day! “I saw you coming in at 8 o’clock this
morning!” [Music plays]>>Getting involved with Seafish and with the
National Fish and Chip Awards has just given me – you know, new life for the industry. [Music plays]>>I think it’s fantastic for the young people
to be joining the industry. You can get apprenticeships now for fish and chip shops and people
are looking at it in a different way now.>>You know, the image of it several years
ago is completely different to as it is now. [Music plays]>>Pride, care and passion about what you’re
doing is utmost, you know. We won’t serve anything that we wouldn’t eat ourselves.
We’ve got a slogan: “If it don’t make you proud,
don’t serve it to the crowd” [Music plays]>>When customers come in and they see that
we really take an interest in the traceability of where we’re getting our fish from,
and they saw that we’ve been to Norway this year; they saw that I
went to the Faroe Islands; customers are really impressed with that. [Music plays]>>The quality’s got to be there in the ingredients.
The freshness of the fish, the right variety of the fish and the
right variety of potatoes, and that’s in essence fish and chips. But there’s a lot more to
it than just simple cod and chips. [Music plays]>>We care about sustainable food because we
want to keep our business running for more generations, yeah.>>We’d like to pass it on to our children,
wouldn’t we? And I think that’s one of the things that you want to be able to –
not only feed your children – but give them a job as well! [Music plays]>>There’s always room to improve. Always.
From the staff, from the food…>>The shops have now wised up to what we’re
looking for and the shop standard this year (2016) is very, very high.>>It started as soon as it ended last year basically>>So in June you send off your paperwork>>And then we were Mystery Shopped a couple
of times and then you get through to the top 60>>After that you get put into regions and
you go down into the top 20>>We has an audit by Seafish; they came through;
had a look at the kitchens; had a look at what we do and how we it.
And that was tough.>>So everybody’s a bit on edge from June until
the awards in January.>>You are! You don’t actually sleep!>>Yes, I’m on edge, OK; I’m on edge! [laughs]>>You wake up in the middle of the night sweating!>>Cut that! [laughs]>>Any different type of PR about fish and
chips is good for our business, but the awards in particular are amazing.
It’s the Oscars of fish and chips!>>To win the awards would just be the pinnacle
of our career.>>The journey has been fantastic and I have
to say it, thanks to Seafish for providing that platform. And now it’s up to us.>>We’re all very good operators and we all
serve cracking fish and chips. I guess any one of the 10 could win.>>Yes we’re competing against each other,
but if you look at the bigger picture, it’s all fantastic for the industry.>>And we’re all in it for the same reasons;
we’re all in it for fish and chips.>>Oh it’d be a dream to come in the top 3.
That would be, to me, like being knighted.>>To me, winning that is something out of
this world for us.>>I’ve done this for 31 years; never won it,
so it would be special, yeah.>>We’re all winners. We’ve got this far. But
if we were to actually get the number one spot, wow, I think you wouldn’t need any media;
I’d be shouting it from the rooftops!>>I had planned to get out of it in year 25
and guess what’s happened? I keep saying “Next year, next year, next year”.
I’ll probably be carried out of here in a box. With a twist of lemon
and some tartar sauce.

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