Netting Nordic knowledge on nation’s favourite fast food

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 20 Nov 2018

THE owners of Cleethorpes’ Fish and Chip Shop of the Year contender have been widening their knowledge of the UK’s favourite fast food, at home and abroad.

Papa’s Fish and Chips director Dino Papadamou, part of the family behind the Cleethorpes Pier venture, has taken to the frontline in fishing with a visit to Norway.

And barely back on dry land, he was joined by his brothers at UK Seafood Summit, where industry knowledge and consumer trends were shared.

The Pier, believed to be the world’s largest fish and chip shop, is a finalist in the National Fish & Chip Awards, with the winner to be crowned in London in late January.

Before then Papa’s will have launched the National Fish and Chip Museum in York, and be close to opening a seventh outlet, in Bridlington, adding to three in Hull and two in Scarborough.

The trip to Ålesund was a study trip that formed part of the shortlisting process, organised by award body Seafish and the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Mr Papadamou, who led the arrival in Cleethorpes in April last year, said: “It was amazing, I absolutely loved the experience. We have a lot of experience seeing what happens with the fish coming from Grimsby Docks as we visit the fish market quite regularly, and we see the processing first hand too as we like to inspect the quality of the fish, but to see it being caught took us right to the very source.

“To see it, and complete the full cycle was really incredible, and to meet the crew, working hard and risking their lives to bring us the catch, was amazing.

“They too, were also really proud to find out about the pier.

“Everyone knows about Grimsby, and most have visited, but to find out their fish is used in the world’s largest fish and chip shop was really good for them - they felt we had shared our side of the story too.”

Read more:Seafood processing performance under the microscope in major study

The trip made national news on television and in print, as they heard more about the leading sustainable fishing industry and precisely where a third of the UK’s seafood comes from. On board of the Ramoen, one of Norway’s state of the art ‘frozen at sea’ fishing vessels, Mr Papadamou and other finalists saw how cod and haddock is caught, sorted, filleted, packaged and frozen at -20C within a maximum of six hours on the ship’s on board factory, locking in the Arctic freshness.

Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr, UK director of the Norwegian Seafood Council, hosted the trip.

He said: “Norway supplies 400 tonnes of seafood per year – a whopping third of the UK’s entire seafood consumption.

“The Norwegian fishing industry is not only sustainable but is a crucial contributor to the UK’s fish and chips tradition for generations. We welcomed Papa’s Fish and Chips to show them the care, attention and pride given to the produce they serve. We wish all ten finalists the best of luck.”

Both were then in Scunthorpe for the summit, having been held on the pier for the two previous years, before and after the arrival of Papa’s.

Delegate number demand saw it head to Forest Pines for 2018.

Dino Papadamou onboard a frozen at sea trawler in Norway.

Mr Papadamou said: “It was good to find out more about the local industry. It is a massive economy, a passive part of what Grimsby is about, so many people are employed in the industry.

“We were keen to make sure we are getting the best product at a competitive price, and it is good to see businesses rallying together forming strong bonds.”

Foodie broadcaster Nigel Barden referenced the team’s presence when picking up on the fact that fish and chips is a growing industry in the UK and overseas.

“It is massively encouraging,” Mr Papadamou said. “It is a simple dish, a transparent dish and another reason why we were more than happy to go to Norway and learn about it,” he said.

“There are no additives, no preservatives, just fresh fish delivered each morning, processed, sent to us, with no messing about with it. Four ingredients go into a mouth-watering meal, and if you do it well it is delicious, and a staple of the great British diet.”

It is this love affair that will see a coal-powered fish and chip shop emerge in York’s Parliament Street before Christmas. “It will be a prominent fixture in the city centre, where people will see how it is all prepared and be able to sample,” he enthused. “It has been an ambition for many years, and we have put in a lot of really hard work alongside the council in York and the National Federation of Fish Friers.

“While it may not be in Grimsby, Grimsby is going to be a major focus of the message.

“It is where every single fillet of fish we have ever served has come from an that’s the same going forward.”

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