Wolfies of Hove in East Sussex, which only opened 18 months ago, has won the Fish & Chip Shops category at this year’s Freefrom Eating Out Awards.
The awards, launched last year to raise awareness of the huge opportunities offered by 'freefrom' food, honour a range of businesses in the out of home sector from restaurants and pubs to schools and B&Bs.
The Fish & Chip Shops category was new for this year and requires chippies to have at least one gluten-free day per week. Staff were tested on their knowledge and understanding of the 14 key allergens as well as how they communicate this information to customers. All entrants were followed up with a mystery visit by FreeFrom Eating Out Awards judges, which included allergy sufferers, coeliacs and food professionals.
Wolfies of Hove, which offers gluten free fish and chips all day, every day, was chosen for its commitment, understanding and dedication to catering for customers with special dietary requirements. Using a homemade batter comprising rice, potato and tapioca flours, the chippy also offers gluten free vinegar and sausages and is currently working on a recipe for gluten free pies.
Owner Danny Keston comments: “I’m over the moon to have won this award. Gluten free fish and chips was something I wanted to do from the beginning as I have some close friends who are coeliacs and I wanted everyone to be able to come in and eat fish and chips. After all, fish and chips are meant to be eaten together.
“We started off using one pan on the range, but demand has been such that we now fry in a separate table-top fryer. Gluten free fish and chips is massively popular with our customers, some who buy it not because they can’t eat it but because they perceive it to be a healthier option.”
The freefrom offering is attracting fish and chip lovers from far and wide with one couple recently cycling 6.5 hours from Brixton in south London to try Wolfies’ gluten free fish and chips, while a family from Balham, south London, used it as the perfect excuse to test drive their new car.
Danny adds: “To get this recognition is fantastic and it will be great for business. All our gluten free customers are very loyal and they’ve already been on Twitter and Facebook saying well done.”
Nine other fish and chip shops were also recognised with awards. Highly, Highly Commended went to Bizzie Lizzie’s in Skipton, Kingfisher Fish & Chips in Plymouth and The Plains in Nottingham, while Highly Commended was awarded to Brockley's Rock in South London, Fishcraft in Eton and Off the Hook in Witney.
Olley’s Fish Experience in South London, Oliver’s in Whetstone, North London, and Rockfish in Dartmouth received Commended.
The winners were presented with their awards yesterday by Antony Worrall Thompson at the Food Matters Live event in London's Docklands.