Potatoes, otherwise known as God's gift to the earth.

Hot chips are one of the most quintessentially Kiwi ways to celebrate the starch and Rotorua's Oppies Fish & Chips has been voted as having the best chips in the Bay.

The 2019 Chip Industry Awards gala hosted 150 chip shop representatives from around the country in Christchurch's Lime Room this month.

The biennial gala was presented by Bidfood representatives and Potatoes New Zealand staff.

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The night, MC'd by Mike McRoberts, was filled with music, food and a lot of talk about potatoes.

The two main awards were the Judges' Supreme Award and the Bidfood People's Choice Awards.

While no chip outlets in the Bay of Plenty were placed on the fried potato throne, Oppies Fish & Chips in Rotorua was given a token crown as regional finalist for this year's people's choice award.

Owner Michael Huang was ecstatic with the placing but is determined to keep improving for the title of the nation's best chips, which Oppies won in 2011 and 2008.

Huang has worked at the takeaway since it opened in 1997.

Then, it was just 30sq m but the shop has now grown to 200sq m, with a dine-in option, a carpark and 10 staff.

He estimated about 675kg of chips were pumped out of the store every month, fried in the "healthy rice bran oil" in vats which only fried the chips.

"Then you get the real taste of the potato . . . it's not contaminated by other food flavours," he said.

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Oppies staff led by owner Michael Huang (centre). Photo / Stephen Parker
Oppies staff led by owner Michael Huang (centre). Photo / Stephen Parker

Constantly working to improve, the takeaway shop now purchased the pre-cut Mr Chip product, which meant consistently high quality.

The store previously hand-cut their chips but Huang said the different farms and seasons made the quality difficult to manage.

Only so much credit could be given to the humble potato, though, and Huang said a big part in their success was the staff.

"They are a good team. They always want to do their best ... I'm so proud of them," he said.

Industry standards for deep-fried chips:

Size

: Use thick straight-cut chips, at least 13mm wide.

Portion

: A standard scoop is approximately 330g of uncooked chips

Oil standards:

Saturated fat – maximum of 28 per cent. Trans fat – maximum of 1 per cent. Linolenic acid – maximum of 3 per cent.

Oil temperature:

Cook chips at 175-180C for between 3 and 4 minutes.

Drain excess oil:

After frying, bang or shake the basket vigorously two times then hang the basket for at least 20 seconds.

Seasoning:

Use salt sparingly if seasoning or provide salt sachets.

Chip warmth:

Chips are best served as soon as they are cooked but can be placed on a clean tray in a 140C oven for a short time if needed.

Notes: Keep fryer topped up with oil. Filter oil each day. Cool oil and cover fryers when not in use. Test and discard oil when it shows signs of degradation.