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Essex: Chip shop hopes to batter competition in regional awards

Staff at Henley

Staff at Henley's of Wivenhoe celebrate being shortlisted for regional Independent Fish and Chip Shop of the Year. Centre (holding tray) is owner David Henley.

Archant

A chippy in north Essex hopes to batter the opposition as it bids to become the region’s best independent fish and chip shop.

Henley’s of Wivenhoe has its fries on the prize after being shortlisted for the South East competition as part of the 2015 National Fish and Chip Awards.

Each of the six candidates will be praying to cod they win as they will then need to put their heart and sole into competing for the national title.

Regional winners will be announced in October, and Henley’s will be hoping rivals Papa’s Barn in Ditton, Kent, do not win two years in a roe.

Each shop has been judged by industry experts and visited by a mystery diner.

David Henley, shop owner, said: “This is the third year in a row we have been shortlisted – we were regional winners in 2013 and runners up in 2014 which got us to the national final.

“We are absolutely ecstatic to have battered the rest of the competition, and this is a big accolade for the team. We are thrilled.

“This is not just about serving great fish and chips but about being sustainable too, and we can trace every piece of cod and haddock to where it was caught.

“The unique thing about us is you can choose your fish and have it fried in front of you, and I think the judges were very impressed with that concept which I have not seen anywhere else.”

Paul Williams, chief executive of organisers Seafish, said: “These awards have not only improved the industry standards by consistently rewarding and testing businesses, they have also raised positive awareness of the issues surrounding sustainable fishing practices and encouraged shops to implement sustainable sourcing.

“Last year we witnessed some of the highest calibre of entrants ever. The bar is constantly rising and we can’t wait to see the top fryers battle it out this year.”

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