Kingfisher Fish and Chips in Plympton, Plymouth has been crowned the best fish and chip shop in the country at the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish UK.
Kingfisher Fish and Chips had progressed through a rigorous, multi-stage judging process over a seven-month period; which included several mystery shopping assessments and in-depth audits by industry experts, reviewing everything from responsible sourcing policies to menu diversification - and of course, customer service levels and the quality of fish and chips being served.
The final stage of judging, held the day before the awards ceremony, put the shop's presentation skills to the test as they faced a specialist industry judging panel where they competed against the nine other regional finalists.
Commenting on their award win to awards host BBC Radio 2 presenter Nigel Barden, Kingfisher owners Nikki Mutton and Craig Maw, said: "We are absolutely elated! 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.
Kingfisher Fish and Chips holds the record for the world's most sustainable seafood menu, and are one of only two fish and chip businesses in the UK to have a three-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
Marcus Coleman, chief executive at Seafish, added: "The aim of the National Fish & Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses and individuals in the UK while setting incredibly high standards for the industry.
"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.
Other results from the National Fish & Chip Awards yesterday included:
• The Good Catch - Sustainable Seafood Award, for Rockfish (now with five Rockfish sites in Devon). Sponsored by Norfisk, the Marine Stewardship Council (SC) and Marine Conservation Society.
• The Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award, for Harbour Lights in Falmouth Cornwall, sponsored by Kerry Foods Golden Sheaf.
• Best Multiple Fish and Chip Shop Operator for Rockfish in Devon, sponsored by JJ Food Service
• Best Foodservice Operator Award for Fish! Kitchen, Borough Market, London. Sponsored by The Responsible Fishing Scheme.