Inspired Walberswick fish-and-chip van scoops top street food award

It started life as a humble doughnut van, selling sugary treats throughout Waveney.

But thanks to the imagination and cooking prowess of a Southwold chef, it has been transformed into an award-winning eatery.

Nick Attfield has scooped a prestigious prize for his alfresco chippy, The Fish Hut at Walberswick.

The posh fish-and-chip van, selling long-line caught cod from Lowestoft, was handed Best Main Dish at the British Street Food Awards 2012.

Judged by an illustrious panel, featuring celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson and broadcaster and food writer Gizzi Erksine, Nick was chosen from 3,000 applicants during a street food party held at Jamie Oliver's London restaurant, Fifteen.

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It comes after the chef served fish suppers from his van at Piers Morgan's wedding and Tracey MacLeod's birthday, the Independent newspaper's restaurant critic.

Nick, who owns The Harbour Inn at Southwold and The Bell at Walberswick, said the design of the The Fish Hut was inspired by the candy-coloured beach huts in Southwold.

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'I came up with the idea for The Fish Hut a few years ago, so I could go around farmers' markets and promote my pubs, because it has been economically tough out there recently,' he said.

'I bought the doughnut van on eBay from Pakefield and then had to try to work out how to get my fryers inside. After that, I tried to make it look like a Southwold beach hut.'

'It has been amazing to win this award because it was a daft little idea of taking fish and chips on the road, and then we started to see it grow.

'Now it could be a stand alone business.'

The popularity of street food has surged in recent years as efforts have been made to produce interesting, high quality and healthy food from vans and market stalls.

Nick said part of his success came from establishing The Fish Hut at the start of the street food revolution.

He said: 'When it comes to the street food movement we were there at the beginning, but I think we have done well because people have more confidence in street food now.'

Nick is taking The Fish Hut to the Albeburgh Food and Drink Festival, which starts today (Saturday September 29) and runs until October 14.

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