Pride, passion and ‘proper’ fish and chips proved a winning recipe for 50-year-old family-run Quayside as it scooped not one but TWO awards at the National Fish and Chip Awards 2014 yesterday – and is now officially the UK’s number one fish and chip takeaway.
Quayside on Pier Road, Whitby, beat off stiff competition from more than 50 chippies across the UK to take the unprecedented duo of titles at last night’s glittering London ceremony, hosted by Michelin chef Jean Christophe Novelli, which included ‘Independent Takeaway Fish & Chip Shop of the Year’ and the ‘Marketing Innovation’ award.
“It’s hard to put into words how excited we feel at this moment – it’s simply surreal!” said a delighted Stuart Fusco, director and head chef at Quayside, part of the Fusco’s of Whitby family chain that was set up by his grandma Violet more than five decades ago. “We’re a family that’s fanatical about fish and chips and we’ve been proud to serve up proper portions, cooked the traditional way with local potatoes and delicious sustainable fish, to our Whitby regulars all these years.
“But we simply couldn’t have won this award without the hard work and dedication of our staff, who have been loyal to us for so many years. It’s safe to say the whole team is over the moon to get such public praise for what we do!”
The 80-seat restaurant and takeaway endured a rigorous process of judging to net its biggest catch of awards to date, which took into account everything from its value for money offering to its sustainable sourcing, customer service, staff training and promotions.
To clinch the Marketing Innovation title, Quayside beat top-notch takeaways in Spitalfields, London and County Antrim, in Belfast. Over the years it has created its very own ‘Fusco Fish Fight’ to help spread the word about proper fish and chips, with a Fusco Foundation for schools, a new interactive website, and regular awareness days and charity events.
The National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish, the UK’s authority on seafood, champions the diverse talents and skills in the chip shop industry, with award judges from leading food magazines and experts in fishing, sustainability and farming.
In April 2013 Whitby’s Quayside became the first fish and chip shop in Yorkshire to get the prestigious Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) stamp of approval that the fish it serves is sustainably sourced.
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “What a fantastic double for Quayside. Wins like this help reaffirm Yorkshire as one of the leading culinary destinations in the country. It’s great recognition for their dedication and innovation.”