September 20 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
A Norwich chip-shop with a twist has been recognised as the best in the county in the annual Choice Chip Awards.
Hot Chip, on Red Lion Street, was named ‘Best Chippy Chips’ in the county of Norfolk in the Potato Council awards in recognition of Chip Week 2014, which runs from February 17-23.
Toby Marchant, who co-owns Hot Chip with Lord Somerleyton, Hugh Crossley, said that they were not expecting to be given the award.
He said: “It feels great. For such a new company it’s amazing we can be given an award like this with only seven months’ training.”
Lord Somerleyton said: “Although we had a following, it was around Christmas that half of our customers were new ones from Norfolk who, for one reason or the other, don’t come into the city very often.
“We realised then that we have got a while to go to be well known, so it was a real surprise to win and we are very chuffed.”
The inspiration for the Norwich eatery stems from traditional chip saloons in Belgium and Holland, where the chip comes first.
Mr Marchant said: “The idea behind it really comes from the continent and it is taken to another level to make it British.
“The idea is to turn the chip into the hero, the base flavour. It’s like how a pizza has a wheat dough base with flavours on top – what we’ve done is to make all sorts of interesting sauces and delicious toppings to make a full meal.
“Essentially, the chip can move up to another level and can compete with the likes of the pizza.”
As well as regular choices of chips with cheese, gravy or chilli, the menu includes unusual options like the ‘grizzly bear’, chips with Canadian cheesy sauce, ham, cheddar and spring onions.
Other options include the ‘veggie’ with halloumi and roasted winter vegetables and the ‘Italian stallion’ which comes with a rich Bolognese sauce. All ingredients and sauces are prepared by a chef on site.
Hot Chip also plans to cater for the sweet-toothed, with ideas to introduce sweet potato chips with mint chocolate and pistachio and salted caramel and banana whip toppings.
However, health is a top consideration for the chip shop, which opened in June last year. It chooses to fry with rapeseed oil, a naturally healthier alternative, and ensures that all produce is fresh and locally sourced.
Mr Marchant added that a “crucial” part of making the perfect chip is to make sure they aren’t “any old chip”.
He continued: “We choose the best kind of potato and cut it in what we call a British cut, which is a lot bigger and therefore far healthier as you have more of the potato and less oil.
“Then we also use local rapeseed oil, which is one of the very best of the good oils. It’s genuinely a healthy chip.”
Currently Norwich is home to the only Hot Chip, but Lord Somerleyton said there are plans to expand the business across the country in the future.
He said: “I’m very proud to be from Norfolk and starting the first shop in Norwich. I like the idea that if we are lucky enough to grow and have a national roll out, which is the ultimate dream, then it would be a real source of pride that the first shop was in Norwich. We are excited about a future where we can grow and give our customers more interesting spins.”
This year more than 840 chip shops entered the Choice Chip Awards across 10 regions in the UK, with 62,983 chip-loving Brits voting for their favourite. Caroline Evans at Potato Council, said that the public “feel very strongly about their local chippy”.
She continued: “Britain is truly a nation of chip lovers and Chip Week is a fantastic celebration of our great food tradition.”
For more information on Hot Chip and for a full menu visit the website at www.myhotchip.co.uk
What’s your favourite chippy? Have your say in the comments below