WA Reels in National Title of Top Fryer
There is a new cod on the block for fantastic fish and chips – as a regional Western Australian business has taken home the title of our nation’s top fryer.
Hooked on Middleton Beach in Albany has reeled in this year’s National Judged Award for the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) co-ordinated awards.
The awards, including Judged and People’s Choice, were presented to the winners at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra, by The Hon. Richard Colbeck, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
The small family owned and run business was a standout for judges, because of staff willingness to naturally divulge information about Western Australia’s seafood industry and for their provenance-based menu which contains a selection of daily-caught, local produce.
John Harrison, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), congratulated the winning shop – acknowledging the hard-work and preparation that goes on behind the scenes.
“From the minute you walk into Hooked on Middleton Beach, customers are treated to an educational experience about our great industry and – of course the best fish and chips in Australia. Staff volunteer information, there are posters on the wall about local species, a daily local menu dedicated to provenance resides front of house and photos of fishers in action rotate on televisions throughout the shop.”
“Customers also receive a unique ‘ocean to plate’ adventure as the family oversees the process from beginning to end – catching, filleting and cooking many local species,” he said.
To become our nation’s fish and chip champion, Hooked on Middleton Beach competed against 2000 shops across Australia, 295 being from WA. Undercover judges rated fish and chips against a set of five criteria from taste, service, choice, information and presentation to ensure the best in Australia was found.
Mr Harrison said the award is a wonderful recognition of a fish and chip shop that is helping to promote the bigger picture – Australia’s high quality and sustainable seafood industry.
Hooked on Middleton Beach must be commended for their promotion of Western Australia’s seafood industry, including staff interaction with customers and the use of social media,” he said.
Mr Harrison also recognised Ocean and Paddock for taking home the title of this year’s state People’s Choice Award.
Since voting opened in August this year, customers had the chance to vote for their favourite fish and chips in the People’s Choice Awards category. Over 19,000 votes were received, with Ocean and Paddock the residing Western Australian winner.
“Ocean and Paddock are another exemplary regional business that give customers top notch service, seafood and education. From the training of staff, educational material and a menu brimming full of WA seafood – you can ensure high-quality service and food.”
“It clearly goes to show that Albany is home to Australia’s best fish and chips,” he said.
Mr Harrison concluded by saying that the awards aim to highlight not only the success of fish and chip shops, but the accomplishments of the nation’s fishing industry.
“Here in Western Australia we are home to one of the world’s most sustainable fishing industries – something all West Aussies should all be proud of.”
“This competition highlights the role our of fisheries, our fishers and fish and chip businesses.”
“Once again I applaud Hooked on Middleton Beach for being crowned with the nation’s top honor and urge all fish and chip lovers to head to Albany to feast on Australia’s best fish and chips!”
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About the People’s Choice Fish and Chips Award
Chosen by consumers, this award will be presented to a food outlet that has demonstrated excellence in consistently providing customers with quality seafood. As part of the Australian Fish and Chips Awards, fish and chips lovers across Australia were able to nominate and vote for their favourite outlet via social media. Votes for each outlet were shown on a leader board at www.fishandchipsawards.com.au
2018 state winners (People’s Choice Award):
- Frying Nemo from Northern Territory
- Pelican Rocks Seafood Restaurant and Café from New South Wales*
- Fresh Coral Seafoods from Queensland
- Sotos Fish Shop from South Australia
- Fraggles Fish and Chips from Tasmania
- Seafood on Evans from Victoria
- Ocean and Paddock from Western Australia
About the (Judged) Fish and Chips Award
As part of the Australian Fish and Chips Awards, this award was presented to a food outlet that has demonstrated excellence in consistently providing customers with quality seafood.
- Taste – the fish tastes fresh and is cooked appropriately
- Quality – Seafood consistently meets customer expectations for quality seafood.
- Choice – Seafood includes a range of seafood, including Australian seafood.
- Information – Customers are provided accurate information about the seafood, whether it is sustainable or where it is caught or from.
- Labelling – the menu complies with the Australian Standard for Fish Names and, preferably, provenance labelling. NB.
The top 5 nominations from the People’s Choice Fish & Chips Award category automatically qualified for the (judged) Fish & Chip Award, whereby the judging panel secretly dined at the top 3 entrants for this category, to ensure the seafood meals, service, ambiance and menu met the specified requirements and a winner was selected.
2018 state and territory winners (Judged Awards):
- Beach Street Seafoods from New South Wales*
- Frying Nemo from the Northern Territory
- Fish & Chips Co for Queensland
- Stunned Mullet from South Australia
- Tasmanian Gourmet Seafood from Tasmania
- Blu by Australian Seafood from Victoria
- Hooked on Middleton Beach from Western Australia