Kettering fish and chip shop up for national award

Adam Smith, owner of Pisces Fish and Chips in Thrapston
Adam Smith, owner of Pisces Fish and Chips in Thrapston

A fish and chip shop is aiming to prove it is batter than all the rest after being shortlisted for a national prize.

Pisces, of High Street, Thrapston, has reached the last 60 of the 2015 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.

The business, which has been run by the same family for three generations, has made final shortlist in the running for the regional prize. It is competing against businesses in Cheltenham and Redditch for that gong – and, if it emerges triumphant again, will face one of three others for the wider Midlands crown.

There are a total of 10 regions across the UK which will eventually each have one independent takeaway competing for the top honour.

Pisces owner Adam Smith said: “It’s been tough of late. When I heard the news last week it was brilliant, it makes it all worthwhile. When I heard we had got through to the last three it lifted me.”

Mr Smith attributes Pisces’s success – earlier this year it was awarded a Fish and Chip Quality Award by trade body the National Federation of Fish Friers – to the quality of their food as well as the passion of the staff.

He said: “I think if you haven’t got passion you aren’t going to go far.”

Mr Smith also thinks it is important not to cut costs in order to maintain quality.

He added: “It’s quite easy to say ‘I can do that cheaper and save a bit’, but we don’t do that. People travel for good food.

“We couldn’t do it without the customers. We have got customers coming from Corby and Kettering. There’s a lady who comes in each week on the bus from Wellingborough and a man who comes in from Rushden.”

Mr Smith also insists the assumption that fish and chips are not a quality meal is misplaced, saying: “We are one of the healthiest in the UK anyway. The way we cook has not changed in 70 years.”

Pisces will find out in October if it has pipped its two rivals to represent the Midlands.

The top 10 shops will be invited on a study trip organised by award sponsor the Norwegian Seafood Council to see why Norway is regarded as a sustainable fishing nation. The overall winner will be announced in January.