Award: Fish and chip shop scales new heights

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A champion fryer was rewarded with a tour of Scotland's famous Peterhead fish market, after wowing judges with its fish and chips.

A champion fryer was rewarded with a tour of Scotland's famous Peterhead fish market, after wowing judges with its fish and chips.Owner of The Boundary fish and chip shop Blair Butler got the opportunity after being crowned one of the top ten in the country.

The fish suppers served up at the Market Deeping chippie battered the offerings from The Pakefield Plaice, in Lowestoft, to win the East of England Fish and Chip Shop of the Year.

Now owner Blair Butler hopes to beat the nine other hopefuls and scoop the title of UK champion, which will be announced in January.

Blair (43) has owned the chippie for five years, but has won the coveted prize twice before with other shops in his 27 years in the business.

He said: "I believe in going out and finding the best quality ingredients I can find, that is what gets customers coming back. I believe ours is the best."

Blair is also trying out a range of different fish for his customers, including Pollack, Hoki, Hake and is currently trialling a Vietnamese catfish.

He said: "We're trying to push the different fish and get people to try something different. It's difficult to change people's tastes but if we can get them to try it they may find something even better."

As champion fryer for the East of England, Blair was whisked off to spend a day up in Scotland along with the other regional winners.

He was given a tour of Peterhead fish market and a local processing plant before meeting skippers from the North Sea white fish fleet – including a tour around their multi-million pound vessels.

Blair said: "It was phenomenal, unbelievable. I had a really good time. I get my fresh fish from Whitby, but I'm going to try some of the fish from up there now."

Head of environment for Seafish which run the competition, Phil MacMullen said: "It's encouraging to see so many fish and chip shops now paying serious attention to creating a sustainable future.

"The quality, hygiene and customer service standards are improving every year and these shops are setting a fantastic example to not only to their

fellow fish and chip shops, but the food industry as a whole."

The winner will be presented with the champion's crown by Ainsley Harriott at a ceremony on January 23 at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington.

See Chip Shop of the Year ad feature (online until November 22nd 2007).

Our chip shops are batter by far

Fish fans in the area are spoilt for choice when it comes to good chippies.

If it was not enough to have the best fish and chips being served up in the region at The Boundary in Market Deeping, the winner of the national title can be found a few miles down the road in Chatteris.

Because the Petrou Brothers from Chatteris were crowned as the National Fish and Chip Shop of the Year competition for 2006.

Mark and Pete Petrou, owners of Petrou Brothers, were presented with the award by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott,at the grand final of the competition, which was organised by industry body Seafish.

Carl Smith of Netherton Fisheries also had reason to celebrate recently when his shop scooped The Evening Telegraph's Fish and Chip Shop of the Year.

Hundreds of readers filled out coupons saying that Mr Smith's shop was the one for them and he said he believed one of the reasons was the secret family recipe they used for their batter.