Hutton Lane Fish Shop celebrated receiving a 5-Star Quality Award from the National Federation of Fish Friers by throwing a ‘Best of British’ party, raising money for local children’s hospice Zoë’s Place in the process.
What could be more British that a good ol’ portion of Fish & Chips?
How about a group of people donning flat caps to eat Fish & Chips on a cold November’s day, standing alongside three beautiful, British made E-Type Jaguars, and plentiful cups of Yorkshire Tea?
If this sounds good to you, you’ll be pleased to learn that this was the wonderfully eccentric British scene put on by proud Brit and owner of Hutton Lane Fish Shop, Alan Jackson, to celebrate the Guisborough take-away winning a prestigious 5-Star Quality Award for culinary excellence from the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF).
British people getting together
Inviting patrons to brush off their finest cloth cap and join the team in celebration, guests were able to enjoy an award winning lunch of the finest Icelandic cod, golden Chips, battered sausage and a side of mushy peas, with the added reward of knowing they were supporting local charity Zoë’s Place at the same time.
Speaking to TUXtra about the ‘Best of British’ event, organised in conjunction with two industry magazines, Alan, whilst hailing Britain as having “the best food in the World”, explained:
“We wanted to help a local charity, so we asked our sponsors to give us some potatoes, some fish, some beef dripping…all the staff are working for free…so every single penny is going to Zoë’s Place.
“It’s a wonderful thing for charity and British people getting together.”
Giving the gift of life
Representing Zoë’s Place at the event was Mike Mohan, who was understandably delighted by the support shown from his good friend Alan and the local community.
“I’m really pleased that Alan has put this function on today.
“It takes about a £1.5 million a year to keep it open.
“We get a small donation from the government and local doctors, but otherwise it’s all charity, raised locally and people are so generous.”
Named after the Greek word for ‘gift of life’, the charities three premises in Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Coventry provide invaluable respite and palliative care for the families of babies and young children with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions.
Particular about his fish
Also on hand at the event was Hugh Mantel, Regional Director and assessor for the NFFF Quality Award, who has, “the dreadful job of having to eat Fish & Chips.”
Asked what key ingredients went into Hutton Lane’s success, an area Hugh pointed to was the quality of fish used;
“Alan is very particular about his fish.
“He uses a 32+ ounce fillet, the most expensive of fillet…but what that gives you is the loin, the most succulent part of the fish.”
That Alan is so particular about fish is no surprise when you learn that prior to embarking into the Fish & Chip trade, he was “involved in fishing from boats” for as long as he can remember.
“I bought a Dory 25 years ago, then I got a Tremlett which was slightly bigger, then ended up with a Swiftcat boat – one of only two in the UK – I used to go tearing about the North Sea catching cod.”
Now flying the flag for quality fish and chips on dry land, being one of only 300 shops out of around 11,000 in the UK to hold the NFFF Quality Award would be a reason for great pride, but for Alan, today was about something much more important.
It was about being “proud to be British”.