Opinion - Response to Jan Moir's Daily Mail Tom Kerridge Article

Opinion - Response to Jan Moir's Daily Mail Tom Kerridge Article

Posted by Stelios on 29th Oct 2023

I wanted to address misconceptions in Jan Moir's Daily Mail piece on Tom Kerridge's Harrods venture. The general public has misconceptions about what makes excellent fish & chips, and this often seems to be the case for journalists and newspaper columnists, too.

It never harms to challenge such misconceptions, so we decided to write an email to the columnist Jan Moir. Scroll down to read the email, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Image Source/Copyright: Image belongs to Harrods/Tom Kerridge. 


You can read the article here.


Dear Jan,

I trust you are in good spirits. I recently had the pleasure of reading your article on Tom Kerridge's gourmet Fish & Chips in Harrods, and I felt compelled to reach out for a bit of a friendly chat on the subject.

Firstly, let me just say that the universal appeal of fish and chips is something quite extraordinary, isn't it? It's our nation's comfort blanket, effective against winter chills and perfect for adding joy to a seaside outing. Few delights hold such a cherished place in our hearts, and in this regard, I wholeheartedly support Tom's endeavour to take this traditional fare to new heights of luxury.

However, as someone deeply entrenched in the fish & chip industry, I found myself at odds with certain aspects of your piece, particularly regarding the generalisation of the quality of fish used by chip shops.

Tom is absolutely spot on about the perils of commercial fishing - it's an incredibly challenging profession. Fishers face unpredictable seas and endure long, gruelling hours, all to bring in the day's catch. But here's where things get a bit tangled in the net, so to speak.

The assertion that numerous establishments serve 'ghastly' fish, frozen in bulk and reduced to 'tasteless portions of anonymous marine meat,' doesn't quite match the reality on the ground - or, I should say, in the ocean. The majority of our beloved chippies source Frozen at Sea Haddock or Cod, primarily from the pristine waters around Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and the Barents Sea. This process is meticulous: the fish is filleted and frozen within four hours of capture, preserving the taste and quality, whether netted or line-caught. Furthermore, local British trawlers contribute freshly caught supplies, landing in places like Peterhead or Hull.

The key here is transparency. These fish are not served as unidentified selections from the sea; they're proudly presented as cod or haddock, a fact any chip shop worth its salt will happily confirm. This isn't a matter of pulling the wool over consumers' eyes; it's about serving up tradition with honesty.

Image Source/Copyright: Image belongs to Harrods/Tom Kerridge. 

And as for the chips - oh, the chips! No self-respecting fish & chip shop would dare sidestep tradition by offering mere 'fries.' It's all about those chunky, hearty chip shop chips, a quintessential sidekick to the main event.

Tom Kerridge, certainly knows his audience, and his upmarket Fish & Chips at Harrods has undoubtedly met a niche demand. But let's not forget the heroes in this story: the countless fish & chip shops across our nation. They're the ones keeping the tradition alive and dishing out phenomenal value, serving millions daily with arguably one of the best comfort foods known to man.

As for, "At the moment, there are fears that over half of all UK chippies could face closure by the end of 2025, unable to cope with spiralling costs. The price of white fish, cooking oil and potatoes have all increased, while energy prices and operational costs add to the financial burden." These are not statistics anyone recognises; yes, prices have risen, and some have come back, but to say that over half of UK chippies will close by 2025 is preposterous. Inflation means almost everything in the UK has risen in price, which means the British staple of freshly fried fish & chips is still fantastic value for money.

So, instead of pondering why Harrods Fish & Chips are pricier, perhaps we should raise a battered cod to the chippies all over the UK, continuing to offer incredible quality at fair prices.

Warm regards,

Stelios


About Me:

Immersed in the world of fish & chips for over 22 years, I stand at the helm of Ceres, serving an array of establishments with top-tier supplies, from batters to cleaning agents. It's more than a job; it's an ongoing love affair with a British Fish & Chips.

I would be more than happy to take you to many fish & chips shops all over the UK that serve frozen-at-sea cod & haddock; we can eat perfectly fried fish & chips knowing what vessel caught the fish when it was caught, and they could tell us where their potatoes were from too.


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