Flash in the Pan up for top gong award

BALLYMONEY takeaway Flash in the Pan is up for a presitigous award.

Three of Nothern Ireland’s best fish and chip shops will batter it out for the title of Independent Takeaway Fish & Chip Shop of the Year in the National Fish & Chip Awards 2012.

Regional finalists include Flash in the Pan, Pit Stop in Kilkeel, and The Galley in Annalong will compete in the next stage of the competition to be named the region’s best, and one of the top 10 in the UK.

Each of the three shops will now be visited by an industry judge who will make an un-announced visit to the respective chippies to assess them on a wide variety of judging criteria including; product quality, customer service, food preparation procedures, hygiene, innovation, staff training and development, promotional activity and approaches to sustainable sourcing.

From the top three, a winner will be chosen who will progress to the grand final, held in London in January 2012.

They will then compete against nine other regional winners from across the UK for the coveted title of the UK’s chippy champion.

Further, during late October, these top 10 shops will also enjoy an all expenses paid study trip to Norway, where they will learn about the supply chain of fish from Norway to the UK.

Organised by Seafish, the authority on seafood, the Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award recognises the wealth of quality, value and choice offered by the nation’s much loved independent fish & chip shops. The title has in the past resulted in a sales increase of up to 100 per cent for the winning shop.

Nikki Hawkins, foodservice and events manager at Seafish, said: “The UK’s fish and chip shops are a national institution, which this award has recognised now for the past 24 years.

“The high standards and quality displayed by the shortlisted finalists for 2012 is testament to the way that they have successfully raised the bar in service and adapted their methods to ensure a sustainable future for the whole industry. This year’s competition was the tightest yet with each of the finalists fully deserving of their place among the top three in their region.”

With over 250 million fish and chip meals sold each year from over 10,500 shops across the UK, fish and chips remains the nation’s favourite takeaway. Devotees can tuck into their fish and chips knowing that they contain 36 per cent less calories than a chicken korma and pilau rice, and 42 per cent less fat than a doner kebab with pita and salad. Recent studies also showed that fish and chips had the lowest salt content of all the takeaways tested.