AN AWARD-WINNING Scarborough businessman is frying high after one of his fish and chip shops was named the best in the UK.
Matthew Silk, twice winner of the Scarborough Evening News Fish and Chip Shop of the Year competition, is celebrating after Fish and Chips at 149 in Bridlington, which he runs with business partner Tracy Poskitt, battered the opposition at the 23rd annual National Fish and Chip Awards.
Mr Silk opened his first chippy in Newlands in 1997 before moving to Crossgates in 2004 and opening his shop there. He is also a director of Silks in Castle Road, which opened in 2008.
Fish and Chips at 149 is the first fish and chip shop outside Scotland to win the contest since 2006.
Mr Silk and Ms Poskitt, who opened the restaurant in 2008 after completely overhauling the premises, received the award from food critic Jay Rayner at a ceremony at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London.
Ms Poskitt said: “To take home the highest accolade in the fish and chips industry is a dream come true.
“We’ve been working for many years to reach these heights and owe this award to our dedicated team and loyal customers whose support has made this possible.
“Fish and chips have been a British institution for 150 years and we are ecstatic to be taking our place in the proud history of this national dish.”
Shops from all over the country were judged on responsible seafood sourcing, customer service, food hygiene, staff training and community spirit by seafood authority and award organisers Seafish.
Andy Gray, customer development manager for Seafish, said: “Fish and Chips at 149’s success is testament to the shop’s unwavering quality and hard work. They have an amazing team, with a very strong focus on staff training and development, and are very deserving winners.”
The shop edged Peckish in Camelford, Cornwall, into second place, with Seniors at Marsh Mill in Thornton, Lancashire, coming third.
Jay Rayner, who presented the awards, said: “Britain’s chippies are a vital part of our food culture, they have seen us through times of war and peace and many of them continue to make a serious contribution to the debate on food, through their pioneering approach to fish stock sustainability. I’m looking forward to working my way through the top 10.”