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Fish & Glitz! – How the NFFF Smashed the National Fish & Chip Awards

Updated: May 10, 2023

The National Fish & Chip Awards 2023

By Austen Dack

The winners of this year’s National Fish & Chip Awards were announced at an exclusive awards ceremony in London on Tuesday, celebrating the very best in fish and chips. 

Organised by The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) and hosted by comedian and presenter, Jason Manford, the event saw 600 guests attend from across the sector, including fish & chip business owners, industry partners and headline sponsors such as Seafood from Norway, proudly represented by the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) and Just Eat. (All sponsors listed below)

With a thirty-year pedigree this event was previously held under the stewardship of Seafish. The bastions of that era included Nicky Hawkins, Andy Gray and Marcus Colman and they had delivered a formidable platform, and a well-oiled machine with gusto.

The pandemic saw a multi-year gap in procedings and a slight change in direction from Seafish. The NFFF committee were keen to see the event recommence and soon the baton had been handed over.  The main team consisting of NFFF President Andrew Crook, Vice President Caroline Murphy, Lesley Graves–Regional Director for England and Treasurer and board member Josette Foster were soon plunged into a deep learning curve. They were each to dedicate so many hours completely without remuneration and all away from their own shops into making sure all the elements of an event this size came together on the day itself.

Thankfully the sponsorship came in due to both the team’s tenacity and Andrew’s previous hard work in his tenancy.  This early building of the framework allowed them to pull off a stroke of genius in signing Jason Manford to host. Jason’s humour calmed all of our nerves and set the scene for a day of celebration, a real chance to coalesce.

So how well did they do? Well judging by the reaction, all the comments the tweets, pictures and also reaction in the room on the day – brilliantly. Sure there were a few very minor things, but overall a real tonic for our industry. Already they are thinking ahead to 2024.

The list of the 11 category winners follows, well done to them and all finalists. 

Fish & Chip Takeaway of the year

  1. 1st: Whitehead’s Fish & Chips,  Hornsea

  2. 2nd: Fish Kitchen 1854, Maesycwmmer

  3. 3rd: The Fish Works, Largs

Fish & Chip Restaurant of the Year

  1. 1st: Fish City, Belfast

  2. 2nd: Malt and Anchor,  Cirencester

  3. 3rd: Henry’s of Hunstanton, Hunstanton

Best Newcomer Award

  1. Lighthouse Fisheries of Flamborough, Flamborough

From Field to Frier Award

  1. The Real Food Café, Tyndrum

Best Mobile Operator Award

  1. Pimp My Fish, Burwell

Staff Training and Development Award

  1. The Chesterford Group, Bishop’s Stortford

Best Multiple Operator of the Year Award

  1. Harlees Fish & Chips

NFFF Quality Accreditation Champion

  1. The Fish Works, Largs

Environment and Sustainability Award

  1. Fish City, Belfast

Supplier of The Year Award

  1. Henry Colbeck Ltd

Outstanding Achievement Award 

  1. Hugh Lipscombe – The Chesterford Group 

The winners of each category have also won a once in a lifetime study trip to Norway hosted by headline sponsor, Seafood from Norway, proudly represented by the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC). Here they will participate in an action-packed itinerary, including a voyage onboard one of Norway’s frozen-at-sea vessels, to experience first-hand the Norwegian fleet’s world-class sustainable fishing and processing facilities. 

Commenting on the event, President of the NFFF, Andrew Crook, said: “Celebrating our vibrant and spirited industry today has been an absolute pleasure. We were blown away by the standard of entries this year, all of which have shown an incredible dedication to serving the nation’s favourite dish, in what has been a tumultuous year for the sector. I would like to congratulate all of the winners, and runner’s up, whilst wishing nothing more but the very best success for the future.” 

2023 National Fish & Chip Awards Sponsors and Supporters

Seafood from Norway, Just Eat, Babylon Potatoes, Isle of Ely Produce, JFK Gadus, Blakemans, Sarson’s, Meadowvale, Kerry, Seafood from Iceland, B D Signs, Friars Pride, Henry Colbeck, Mcwhinneys’s Sausages, Pukka Pies, Reveal My Food, Smales, VA Whitley, PG Chips, Royal Greenland, FASFA

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