A fish and chip shop in Devon that has put sustainability at the heart of its business – even providing QR codes on menus for customers to trace the journey of their fish from sea to plate – has been voted the best in the UK.
After competing with more than 10,000 rivals across the country, and having come second last year, Kingfisher Fish and Chips in Plympton, near Plymouth, was crowned the best in the 2017 National Fish and Chip awards.
Whole lobster, smoked herring and Cornish sardine fishcakes are among the 12 Marine Stewardship Council-certified fish dishes it serves from what it says is the world’s most sustainable seafood menu. It is one of only two UK fish and chip businesses to hold a prized three-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The shop was named best independent takeaway fish and chip shop of the year after seeing off competition from nine other UK regional winners. The awards are organised by the trade body Seafish and are now in their 29th year.
“We are absolutely elated,” said co-owner Nikki Mutton, who bought and took over the running of the business with her partner, Craig Maw, four years ago.
“We’ve entered this award three times now, coming second last year, so to go all the way is amazing – I guess three really is a charm,” Mutton added. “We’ve only owned the shop for four years and have achieved some amazing things … We’ve worked hard to take sustainability to the next level and this is at the core of our business.”
The Burton Road Chippy in Lincoln clinched second place and Millers Fish & Chips in Haxby, Yorkshire – which has been run by the same family for four generations – came third. The Rockfish group of restaurants – which has five eateries on the Devon coast – won the Good Catch, or sustainable seafood award, and the best multiple fish and chip operator gong.
“This year was definitely Kingfisher’s year – they stood out immediately for their extensive knowledge and experience, robust sourcing policies, forward-thinking approach, and continual business growth,” said Ben Bartlett, master craftsman of the Craft Guild of Chefs and a member of this year’s final judging panel. “With inspiring passion, they are consistently looking to improve their offering and strive for perfection – making them extremely worthy winners and the perfect ambassadors for the fish and chip industry.”
Marcus Coleman, chief executive of Seafish, added: “Every year Seafish sees new and more established talent vie for the top title. The judging process is extremely challenging with shops thoroughly being put through their paces, but this year, it was Kingfisher’s boundless enthusiasm and commitment that made them stand out as a clear winner.”