Krispies in Exmouth, Devon, hosted the UK’s largest fish and chips supper last month, frying for 200 RNLI lifeboat crew, their family and friends.
Held at Coast, an entertainment venue overlooking Exmouth beach, the fundraiser was organised by shop owners Kelly and Tim Barnes. With assistance on the night from staff past and present, as well as family and friends from across the industry, the event raised almost £10,000 for the RNLI, which will go towards training new crew members at the Exmouth station.
Preparations started early on Saturday morning with helpers cutting 400 pieces of 2oz Gadus cod, prepping endless potatoes, making mushy peas and tartare sauce and cutting lemons.
With no facilities to cook on at the venue, staff had the tricky task of frying fish and chips for 200 on a makeshift outdoor kitchen complete with three Fado frying units courtesy of KFE.
Pitching in to make the event possible were Stelios Theocharous from Ceres-PFI, Nick Miller from Miller’s in Haxby, James Ritchie from Simpsons in Gloucester and Fred Capel of Chez Fred, Bournemouth.
Kelly comments: “It was really the hardest thing I have ever done in my career. It took a year to come together and I knew it was never going to be an easy task to pull off.
“With the equipment set up under a pergola on a bright but very windy day we were set to go! Then it rained heavily throughout the night, everyone in our industry knows water and oil don’t mix so out went the oil! With the pans changed and ready to go we did a quick equipment test at 1.30pm and we had no electric! I did what I do best and called some amazing friends to come and help. A couple of nail-biting hours later and the electric was back on and we were ready to fry!”
Raising £9,300 through cooking, serving and donating, Kelly comments: “I would like to say thank you to everyone in our industry that helped and supported us, especially Stelios from Ceres PFI. These guys cooked the most amazing fish and chips in rubbish lighting and even worse weather conditions.
“All the money we have raised is going towards training the guys at our local station - Exmouth RNLI. It costs £1,600 per year to train a crew volunteer. Training is continuous, just like in the fish and chip trade.”