Best Chip Shop national winner
The Best Chip Shop Competition returned in 2017 after a 4-year hiatus.
The competition run by the Chip Group (a division of Potatoes New Zealand Inc.) was open to any person or business that serves hot potato chips to the public.
To be eligible to enter they had to have completed and passed the Chip Group’s Best Practice Frying training which teaches operators how to cook chips in a way that minimises fat and sodium (salt) content.
Over 150 conference delegates and all seven Regional Winners attended the Potatoes New Zealand Awards Dinner in Pukekohe on 26 July 2017, where the Best Chip Shop Competition awards were presented.
After fat sampling and two rounds of mystery shopping... the prestigious title of Grand National Winner went to So Fine Seafoods in Lower Hutt, Wellington. It's pleasing to note that So Fine Seafoods were a regional finalist in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009!
The mystery shopper had this to say about So Fine Seafoods: “The store was well lit and welcoming. I was asked for my order immediately by a well-groomed team member wearing branded clothing. The food grade (A) was on display and clearly visible.
The team member cooked the chips, shook and banged the basket before they asked if I wanted extra seasoning. The food was hot, fresh and tasty. Easily the best chips I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.”
Anthony Cho, owner/manager of So Fine Seafoods, said: “This was such a surprise. We are delighted to have won this amazing award. We place a big emphasis on our customer service and the quality of our chips, fish and other foods served.
We’d like to thank Potatoes New Zealand and the Chip Group for organising this competition. The Chip Group Training was very good for teaching us how to make healthier chips that still taste great.”
Potatoes New Zealand chief executive Chris Claridge offered his congratulations to the finalists and the winner: “Fish & chips is a Kiwi tradition. New Zealanders love hot potato chips and there’s all the more reason to love the healthier chips served by our regional winners. Congratulations to So Fine Seafoods, they are renowned for producing great tasting, healthier chips.”
To enter the competition it was a matter of completing the online registration form, then:
1. Entrants submitted a sample of their cooked hot potato chips to Hill Laboratories for scientific testing of the fat content percentage.
2. Stores whose chips were 9% fat or less received the Highly Commended Chips awards and became Regional Finalists. Those whose chips were more than 9% fat were eliminated from the competition.
3. All 51 Regional Finalists were then mystery shopped by Hoed Research. The mystery shopper assessed chip taste and quality, cooking process, salt options, customer service and store presentation.
4. The highest scoring store in each region became the Regional Winner.
5. All seven Regional Winners were then mystery shopped and the highest scoring store was crowned Regional Winner.
▴ So Fine Seafoods, Lower Hutt, presented with a well deserved award as the best chip shop in the country.