In the first of our showcase Frymax Focus blog series, Frymax Ambassador and expert fryer Nigel Hodgson describes his work with fish and chip shop owner and Frymax customer Ian Kay.
A Chance Meeting
It was six years ago that I was helping out at the V.A.W Innovations Show in Bolton where I first met the keen fryer from Oswaldtwistle who, despite being a Man United fan, spoke with desire and much love for his fish and chip business.
The passionate fryer, Ian Kay, who owns and runs Perfect Plaice on Union Road in Oswaldtwistle knew that whilst his business needed renovating and modernising he had to initially get his skills sharpened and perfected to improve the cooked product. In return, he felt this would increase his takings enabling him to invest money back into the business.
After a detailed chat we arranged a visit so Ian could spend some time with me at my chippy in Prospect Street and shadow my daily routine. Ian was a pleasure to help as not only was he keen, he got stuck in too!
Learning the Tricks of the Frying Trade
Eager to learn, he was writing notes upon notes to ensure he didn’t forget any detail or tips given by myself and Paul Eden, a fellow YFFY (Young Fish Fryer of the Year) Champion.
After 12 months of regular training Ian began to invest into his business: a Bold chipper, peeler and batter mixer, interior renovation and very soon after a Kiremko HE frying range. He’d began to increase his opening hours too as the demand from customers wanting his “Ossy” famous fish and chips had become increasingly more evident.
Just after the huge investment and increased opening hours Ian disclosed to me that his wife had said in a “slightly” heated discussion – “STOP going through to see Nigel. Every time you visit, you either come back and spend more money or increase your opening hours!” How rude…
Only Frying With the Best Oil
Since 2012, Ian has been a loyal Frymax user, enjoying the ability to fry at high temperatures consistently without reducing the life span of the oil.
With the added knowledge of filtering and raw material prep, Ian understands the essential reasons for filtering twice-daily, thorough chip washing and correct Drywite procedures. These all go towards complimenting the condition of his frying oil and the final cooked product.
Increasing Trade and Modernising the Menu
Having helped and taught many fish fryers over the years, Ian has been a true favourite of mine as he is truly proud of his shop, his team and, most of all, his fish and chips. With an ever-increasing trade Ian has developed his menu by introducing local favourites and some “self-made” menu options too.
Ian proudly boasts that the 99s he sells (a cone of chips with a small sausage acting as the flake) and his “fish & chip” butty have become a local delicacy and customers travel from afar to sample the light-sized meals.
“With eating trends changing over the past few years, it’s important that we as an industry focus on change too. We’ve focused on developing smaller portion sizes to suit and support the lunchtime trade, which to be honest, 18 months ago wasn’t too busy”.
“With the balance of cooking in lower oil levels during quiet times, filtering twice daily and Frymax being able to withstand high temperatures my weekly oil consumption has been reduced quite dramatically. Also, customers are loving the consistently great taste of our fish and chips. I truly recommend using Frymax and am very thankful to have met Nigel at the VAW Innovations show and having him on “speed-dial”.
Who is Frymax Ambassador Nigel Hodgson?
Nigel Hodgson is a Frymax Ambassador who has been in the fish and chip industry since he was 14. As well as co-owning and running his own award-winning fish and chip shop in Lancaster, called Hodgson’s Chippy, Nigel is also a trainer for the KFE School of Frying Excellence.
At Frymax, we love to see our ambassadors and customers working together to deliver great tasting fish and chips to their customers. If you think your business could benefit from the expertise of the Frymax community, become a Frymax member today for FREE or get in touch with our team for more information about Frymax – the frying oil of choice in the fish and chip trade for the past 60 years.