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.
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.