Cardboard serving trays and oil care are the secret to crispy, deep fried delicacies with minimum fat content, according to the Auckland winners of the 2013 Best Chip Shop competition.
Six regional winners have been chosen for their crispy potato fries that are not only pleasing for the palate, but also for their customer's waistlines.
Ocean's Seafood in Silverdale, Greenwoods Fresh Catch in Epsom, Queen Vic Chippy in Cambridge, Fish King Takeaways in Fielding, Victory Square Fish and Chips in Nelson and The Naked Chip in Waimate can today be revealed as the nation's best low-fat chip sellers, according to The Chip Group's biennial survey.
Food educator and Chip Group Chair Glenda Gourley said judges were looking for shops serving the most delicious hot chips with the lowest possible fat content.
"Kiwis love hot chips so it is very important that not only are they delicious but that they have the minimum fat content," she said.
Auckland winners from Greenwoods Fresh Catch in Epsom, Lilian and Thomas Sug, said the secrets of their Pah Road shop include presenting chips in cardboard trays, rather than wrapping them, to ensure they stay as crisp as possible.
Mrs Sug said the shop also used hugh quality produce, took meticulous care of oil and believed in exceptional hygiene and customer service standards.
She said they also used three separate friers for crumbed fish, battered fish and for chips, ensuring the optimum temperature for each. They have only owned the shop for 15 months but Mr Sug has worked as a chef for years and has a passion for the job, he said.
"We put love and care into our cooking and customer service is top," he said. "For us our customers are like family. We want everyone have to have a great experience and we provide a 100 per cent guarantee with money back if they are not completely satisfied."
All entrants' chips were analysed by an independent laboratory. The winners and highly commended recipients' chips all had a fat content of less than nine per cent.
Entrants were also judged on chip taste, quality, shop cleanliness and customer service.
The overall national winners for the competition will be announced later this month.
Frying high - NZ's best hot chips
* Northland/North Shore: Oceans Seafood, Silverdale
* Auckland: Greenwoods Fresh Catch, Epsom
* Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Hawkes Bay: Queen Vic Chippy, Cambridge
* Manawatu/Taranaki/Wellington: Fish King Takeaways, Feilding
* Nelson/Christchurch: Victory Square Fish and Chips, Nelson
* Timaru/Southland: The Naked Chip, Waimate.