High-fry­ing north­ern chip shops vy­ing for top award

Con­test: Ex­perts to sam­ple trio of take­aways aim­ing for taste of suc­cess

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - BY BEN HENDRY

A trio of chip shops in the north of Scot­land are in the run­ning to be crowned the best in the UK.

Mo­ray’s Fochabers Fish Bar, TheTrawler in­Gol­spie, Suther­land, and Cameron’s Chip Shop in Stornoway on Lewis have been short­listed for a top prize in the 2016 Na­tional Fish and Chip Awards.

The t ake­aways are among 60 in con­tention for the ti­tle of in­de­pen­dent take­away fish and chip shop of the year.

In­dus­try ex­perts will con­verge on the out­lets over the com­ing weeks to sam­ple their sup­pers and de­cide on the 20 best re­gional can­di­dates.

Dar­ren Boothroyd, a for­mer air­craft engi­neer, fol­lowed fam­ily tra­di­tion when he bought t he Fochabers Fish Bar in 2013.

Mr Boothroyd, who is orig­i­nally from Hud­der­s­field in York­shire, said: “I took over the shop less than two years ago, af­ter a 22- year ca­reer at RAF Lossiemouth.

“But my par­ents and my brother have had chip shops for years, and run­ning the busi­ness seems to have come nat­u­rally to me. We al­waysmake sure to use qual­ity lo­cal pro­duce and I hope judges recog­nise that.”

Christie Gray has run the Trawler chip­per in Gol­spie with wife Dawn for years.

He says his sup­pers are so sought af­ter that din­ers un­der­take long jour­neys to en­joy them.

Mr Gray said: “We get a lot of pass­ing trade due to our lo­ca­tion on the main road.

“So peo­ple who have tried our sup­pers while trav­el­ling end up mak­ing jour­neys of 60 or 70 miles just to get a chip­pie.”

“We’ve been nom­i­nated for this award the last three years and we can see the stan­dard get­ting

six higher each time,” he added.

The owner of Cameron’s chip shop on Stornoway, Colin Cameron, said: “Last year’s win­ners were from Shet­land so we’re hop­ing there’s some luck in be­ing an is­land chip shop.

“The tourist sea­son is great for us and we know we’re do­ing some­thing right as we have a queue out the door ev­ery evening.”

The con­test is be­ing or­gan­ised by fish­ing in­dus­try group Seafish, and yesterday its chief ex­ecu- tive, Paul Wil­liams, said the north out­lets were bat­tling for one of the sec­tor’s “high­est hon­ours”.

Frankie’s Fish and Chips at Brae in Shet­land­won­the award at the be­gin­ning of this year.

Owner Car­lyn Kear­ney said: “Since win­ning we’ve ex­pe­ri­enced so many ben­e­fits – in­clud­ing hav­ing cus­tomers travel over 700 miles just to get a taste of our fish and chips.”

The win­ner will be an­nounced at a cer­e­mony in Lon­don in Jan­uary.

Pho­to­graph: Gor­don Len­nox

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