A top street food trader based in the Midlands has been named in the UK’s top five finalists of this year’s National Fish & Chip Awards.
The English Indian, based in Staffordshire, will be up against four other finalists from across the country to compete for the title of UK’s Top Mobile Fish and Chip operator.
James Lant and his partner Anna Riley, owners of The English Indian, were selected for the accolade which is due to be revealed early next year.
The couple, who swapped a life in fashion for their dream job in food, said they were honoured to have been shortlisted by the National Fish & Chip Awards, and were hopeful for the awards day.
“We’re extremely passionate about what we do and have worked really hard on getting our flavours & textures right, using the freshest ingredients, and making our dishes unique. Customers know quality food and strive to find it, and we think this shows in just how popular we’ve become in a short space of time. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and to be recognised for it, makes it all worthwhile”. said James.
The English Indian was born out of the couple’s love for food and India – and they decided to combine the two.
Anna used to own Cure, a fashion store in the heart of Lichfield, while James worked in sales, and both wanted to make a change into something that would give them more freedom.
Once they decided to set up, they soon came up with their dazzling menu – including their signature dish of chunky cod goujons coated in a light, spiced pakora batter served with chat masala seasoned, hand cut chips, fresh chilli and mint mushy peas and a madras chip shop curry sauce.
Their first big break came with becoming one of Digbeth Dining Club’s chosen go-to street food traders, and their popularity grew from there.
“Once we got the break we were looking for, everything seems to have fallen into place. We have customers who follow us across the country to some of the events we are at and we have bookings for parties, festivals, weddings and everything in between. Two years after starting out, we were also named finalists for the British Street Food Awards, so to also be chosen for the National Fish & Chip Awards is just a dream, we’re really excited to be included,” added Anna.
The couple are up against Dodson’s Fresh Catch in West Yorkshire, The Fish Bar in Cheshire, The Little Fishy in Tyne and Wear and The Whiddon Wagon in Devon.
“We’ll be proudly flying the flag for the Midlands at the awards ceremony in London at the end of January, and whatever the outcome, we know the future’s looking bright, with plenty more plans for the New Year,” she added.
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, said: “We’re seeing a new generation of mobile fish and chip units make their mark around the country with innovative operators jumping on opportunities, such as providing fish and chips to the wedding market and at music festivals.
“The idea of mobile catering is far from new, but improved equipment and facilities, have brought a new lease of life to the sector – something the fish and chip industry is capitalising on.
“Running a successful mobile catering business is no easy feat, and requires a great deal of commitment and passion. Our shortlisted finalists hit the mark perfectly with all five showcasing the high levels of innovation that can be found within the mobile catering sector while still retaining the traditions of our quintessentially British meal, fish and chips.”
For more information visit: www.fishandchipawards.com or follow @FishnChipAwards #FishnChipAwards.