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Fish And Chip Competition Mystery Judging Begins


Anonymous judges are sharpening their taste buds, as the mystery judging for The Best New Zealand Fish and Chip Shop Competition - 1999, gets underway this month.

Competition spokesperson, Wayne Coutts, said mystery judges would visit fish and chip shops around New Zealand, to help find the country's top chippie.

The competition, which began on 2 August has attracted nearly 64,000 votes from fish and chip fans around the country.

"So far, 100 shops with the highest scores from public voting have been identified. Five mystery judges will now visit all of these shops to ensure they all make the grade," said Mr Coutts. Based on the mystery judging process, up to 20 local winners from each of the Upper North Island, Central North Island, Lower North Island, Upper South Island and Lower South Island regions will be chosen.

"Judges will be looking at the whole experience including hygiene, service, visual presentation of the shop and food, and of course, great tasting fish and chips."

The involvement of Auckland Healthcare and the Heart Foundation for the second year running means that emphasis will once again be on cooking techniques, to ensure oil absorption of the food is kept to a minimum and that the frying medium is regularly being turned over," said Mr Coutts.

Following the announcement of the local winners, in October, a further mystery judging process will take place to identify the grand national winner and the regional winners. Details of these top winning shops will be announced on 17 November.

Last year's competition winner, Gus van der Linden, of Westshore Fish Caf in Napier, reported an increase in sales of 50%, aside from increased business. Shops are also in the running to win the grand national prize pack of sponsors' food products valued at $5,000.00, and regional prize packs.


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