When the chips are down

Chip Fest 2018 cel­e­brated NZ's favourite fast food, with the in­au­gu­ral stand-alone event for Peo­ple's Choice Best Chips Award.

NZ Grower - - Chip Group Update - By Gemma Car­roll

Thurs­day Septem­ber 20 saw the culim­i­na­tion of six weeks of vot­ing with over 3000 votes cast by chip lovers across the na­tion.

Ev­ery se­cond year, Chip Group holds the Best Chip Shop com­pe­ti­tion which in­volves more rig­or­ous test­ing of chips and se­cret judg­ing. For now though, the chip fans have had their say and Steve Fair will be head­ing home to fur­ther serve his happy cus­tomers, what is in their opin­ion, the best chips. Con­grat­u­la­tions Mr Chips Master­ton! The deep fried, long cut potato, crispy on the out­side, fluffy on the in­side, with a light sprin­kle of salt and per­haps a dip of tangy sauce, has been per­fected by some and butchered by oth­ers, but this in­au­gu­ral com­pe­ti­tion is not judged by sci­en­tists or of­fi­cials. The peo­ple have spo­ken and over 500 shops were nom­i­nated and had to have com­pleted our health­ier chip train­ing (with The Chip Group) to qual­ify for en­try.

The in­vite-only cel­e­bra­tion was at­tended by around 100 chip fans, sup­pli­ers, grow­ers, cooks and food writ­ers. The event’s main spon­sor Bid­food, pre­sented the award for the se­cond year in a row to Steve and Mon­ica Fair, which in­cluded a $500 Bid­food voucher, flights for a mys­tery week­end, Chip Group aprons, caps, a foot­path sign and a framed cer­tifi­cate.

The reign­ing cham­pion of hot chips was joined by his fam­ily on the podium and was over the moon at the sup­port of his cus­tomers. Cu­ri­ously enough, he had al­ready been in­vited as guest chip­pie for the event, due to win­ning

the pre­vi­ous year and had been hard at work on the fryer for the event at vanue, Fresh Fac­tory, obliv­i­ous to the an­nounce­ment to come.

Guests en­joyed fried chips of course, along­side an ar­ray of other good­ies, sup­plied by Tal­leys, Mr Chips, McCains and Bid­food, much of which was cooked by the un­sus­pect­ing win­ner.

It was clear from the happy faces of munch­ing and chat­ting chip-fans, that the potato, in it’s glob­ally renowned form of the chip, is right at home here in New Zealand. His­to­ri­ans write that chips or French fries, ac­tu­ally orig­i­nated in Bel­gium in the late 1600s and were then in­tro­duced to the Brits dur­ing World War 1.The pop­u­lar­ity of chips (deep-fried, long cut po­ta­toes) has spread around the world and they’re pre­sented in a va­ri­ety of ways, from news­pa­per wrap­pings, to pa­per cones, to side serv­ings in a bowl or on a plate. They’re dressed with in­nu­mer­able top­pings and condi­ments. The most pop­u­lar here at home, is tomato sauce, with other coun­tries pre­fer­ring may­on­naise, cheese, gravy, curry sauce or vine­gar.

In NZ Potato NZ’s Chip Group, along­side the Min­istry of Health, pro­mote health­ier chips, us­ing a sim­ple and free on­line or face-to­face course, which pro­vides meth­ods to re­duce the fat and salt con­tent as well as serv­ing size of our chips, for the bet­ter­ment of Kiwi health and to re­duce costs for busi­ness. Our method drops the some­times 22 per­cent fat con­tent down to nine per­cent, with sim­ple fry­ing tech­niques. The course at­tracts at least 240 par­tic­i­pants each year and can be eas­ily ac­cessed via our web­site www.chip­group.co.nz

Gemma Car­roll is com­mu­ni­ca­tions and en­gage­ment of­fi­cer with Po­ta­toes NZ.

It was clear from the happy faces of munch­ing and chat­ting chip-fans, that the potato, in it's glob­ally renowned form of the chip, is right at home here in New Zealand.

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