It is National Chip Week this week so we asked local chippies to give us their top tips for making the best chips.

Stu Baker from the Potato Council said: “Fish and chips are an integral part of British tradition. “Chip Week has been going for 23 years now, which just highlights how strong the British love affair with fish and chips really is!”

Blackstocks in Town Hall Square in Chester opened in March 2012 and is owned by Gareth and Kelly Gordon who can often still be found behind the counter.

They pride themselves on being the only fish and chip shop in the Chester area to offer four different sizes of fish (mini, small, regular and large) every day to cater for every appetite, plus daily, ‘catch of the day’ options.

They also hold the National Fish and Chip Quality Award, presented by the National Federation of Fish Friers, and were recently finalists in the National Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Awards.

Some of Blackstocks’ recent visitors include the Lord Mayor of Chester Jill Houlbrook, Anthony Hamilton, father of British F1 superstar Lewis Hamilton, and Jimmi Harkishin who played Dev in Coronation Street .

Blackstocks founder Gareth Gordon’s tips for the perfect chip:-

  • Always start with the best quality potato you can buy, prices and quality will change throughout the year depending on market conditions but like most things in life you pay for what you get
  • Nice thick cut means they take longer to cook but absorb less fat so are more healthy
  • Make sure your chips are dry and washed before you start frying to remove any excess starch
  • Always blanche your chips first and allow them to cool before a final fry to give you that beautiful, golden crunchy texture
  • Always use a clean quality oil
  • Serve immediately after cooking and never package them in plastic bags or wrapped tight in paper as the steam from the chips will create excess moisture and make them soggy

To celebrate National Chip Week, Fish & Chips @ Weston Grove in Upton are offering free chips with every portion of fish purchased.

Potato growers Colin Bradley , Simon Butcher and David Linton inspecting crops grown for Fish and Chips at Weston Grove
Potato growers Colin Bradley , Simon Butcher and David Linton inspecting crops grown for Fish and Chips at Weston Grove

Owned by potato grower David Linton, they use the best frying potatoes from David’s potato growing business.

David says: “National Chip Week is a celebration of the humble potato and all its amazing nutritional qualities.”

His tip for the best chip: “We believe we produce the best chips in Chester as they are specially selected from the 16,000 tonnes I grow.

“Every potato batch is test fried on the farm before getting to the chip shop.

“Also we double cook by blanching and flash frying.

“This means the potato inside is cooked gently and a flash fry to give a crispy exterior.”

Chris Walters, who oversees Harry Ramsden’s in Cheshire Oaks, highlights that Harry Ramsden’s has always been proud to support British farmers.

Harry Ramsden's staff with their finished product
Harry Ramsden's staff with their finished product

And, as ever, the chips you enjoy with your meals are made fresh using the best potatoes available in the country.

Chris said: “Different varieties of potatoes are served at different times of the year, and during National Chip Week, the chips we are serving at Harry’s are made using potatoes, brought to us from the fields ploughed by farmer, Andy Mitchell of Lawfordheath Farm, who has been providing us with top potatoes for a number of years.

“Indeed, thanks to Farmer Mitchell’s expertise in all things potato, the delicious chips our customers are enjoying at Harry’s right now are made from the Ramos variety. Ramos are the top chipping potato at this time of year.

“They are a great dual purpose potato and can be used equally well as a table potato however, for a variety of reasons, not least their thin skins, nothing on the market beats them at this time of year for making chips.

“Another bonus is Ramos don’t need as much fat when making chips, because of the inherent quality they provide.”