TWO brothers who own rival fish and chip shops are set to battle it out to become the best chippie in the UK.
Tony and Liberato Forgione, who both own shops in Hoddersdon, Herts., are among the top 20 entrants in the National Fish and Chip Awards 2019.
Tony, 44, has run Captain’s Fish and Chips for 20 years and narrowly missed out on a top three position in the contest last year.
According to the Express, Tony said: “It wasn’t just a flash in the pan. We’re back in the running this year and hope to do even better.”
But Liberato, 47, only opened Sidney and Sons Fish and Chips in March just a mile away from his younger brother, and says it’s a “great achievement” to be amongst the top 20 after just five months.
“You could say it was an ‘Oh my cod’ situation,” he added.
While there’s rivalry between the brothers as they “both want to be good”, Tony says: “I’ve been here for 20 years so I know what my customers are having before they open their mouths.”
But Liberato believes his offerings of of grilled sea bass and salmon could give him the competitive edge.
Despite the competition, Tony says the real winner is the customer.
He said: “The person who really wins in the end is the customer. For Hoddesdon to have two fish and chip shops in the top 20 is brilliant.”
And it appears the two brothers are chips off the old block, as dad Sidney – now aged 81 – moved to England from Italy in 1957 and set up his first shop in East Finchley, North London, in 1963.
And their brother Luigi runs Luigi’s Fish and Chips in Harlow, Essex, which was among the top 60 entrants in the UK-wide competition.
The National Fish & Chip Awards carefully assesses the chippies on a number of factors.
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These range from considering sustainable sourcing policies, menu development and innovation to staff training policies and marketing activities.
Those in the top 20 will compete in two further rounds of judging to make it to the nation number one’s chippy, as the shops undergo a further phase of mystery diner judging inspections to whittle down further to the top 10 shortlist.
The finalists will be scaled down to ten contenders in September and the winner of the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award will be announced at The National Fish & Chip Awards’ 31st anniversary ceremony in London on 24 January 2019.
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