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30 Minutes With...

...Paul Hay, owner, Fish 'n' Fritz, Weymouth, Dorset

How did you get into the industry?

Through a friend of a friend, they needed help running a fish and chip shop, I had not long since come out of the Royal Navy and thought it would be fun to do.

What’s your favourite food?

I don’t really have a favourite, although I am partial to a classic Sunday roast - roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, a mountain of vegetables and lots of gravy.

Is there a food you won’t eat?

Pineapple, I had a bad experience as a child!

Where have you had the best fish and chips?

When I was a child, Thrumpton Lane Fish and Chip Shop in Retford, Nottinghamshire, was opposite my nanny’s and we would have fish and chips every Friday night. My nanny would also buy us a bag of chips in the week after swimming from the same fish and chip shop. It really brings back happy memories of my childhood.

The other was in Australia near Bondi beach at a place called Doyles on the Wharf. It's an amazing open-air bar/pub near the beach that serves really great fish and chips. It was the location and the different types of fish they served that makes it stick in my mind and I always talk about it to Australians when they visit Fish ’n’ Fritz.

Do you have a favourite restaurant?

No, I don’t actually, I like eating out and trying new places. So I would rather say I have not discovered my favourite restaurant yet. I am still working my way through all the options.

What is your go-to drink?

My apple cider and vinegar mix, I drink two to three litres of it a day. It’s a homemade, natural health drink I was given the recipe for. I have found it really beneficial for me and it’s really easy to make. If anyone wants the recipe, just get in touch!

What dish reminds you most of your childhood?

My nanny’s meat and potato pie with mash and gravy - all homemade of course.

What is your guilty food pleasure?

Egg custards, I just can’t help myself.

What’s been your weirdest food combination?

When I was serving in the Royal Navy I went out on patrol with the Gurkhas in Hong Kong. Before patrol, they made us this watery soup from a huge cooking pot. It was green in colour, smelt awful but tasted amazing.

If money was no object, what would you love to purchase for your shop?

I would like to make our restaurant more accessible to all customers. We have a portable ramp at our front door but I would like to install something more permanent and easier to use at the side entrance of the restaurant.

If you could have anyone join your team who would it be?

David Attenborough. He could talk to our customers about the wonders of the sea and what we need to do to protect the oceans and make things more sustainable for the future.

And finally, what side is a must for fish and chips?

Mushy peas. For me, there is no other choice; it is the law.

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