The search for the nation’s top chippie is back on with registrations now open for the new look 2011 Best Chip Shop Competition.

The Chip Group Chairperson, Glenda Gourley, said this year the competition had been ‘turned on its head’ with chip shops now needing to be good enough to enter.

“Shops that are registered for the Competition must have completed all nine online training modules which are aimed at improving the nutritional quality of hot chips.”

The guidelines cover chip size, oil temperature, cooking/deep-frying, basket drainage, oil maintenance, filtering and cleaning, salt, frying oils and chip portion size.

“Consumers who walk into a shop that is registered to take part in the Competition can now have a high degree of confidence that the chips they are buying have been cooked by operators who have completed the training.”

Glenda said the new requirement and new look Competition was all about raising standards generally and ensuring consumers get better quality chips.

“When a potato leaves the paddock they are virtually fat free and when it leaves a food processing company in the form of chips, it typically has 3-4 per cent fat,” Glenda said.

“It’s during the cooking process at a chip shop that the most amount of fat can end up being added to it with amounts typically ranging from 7-18 per cent fat.

“The Chip Group’s goal is to help shops to cook chips in the best way possible so that the fat content is nine per cent or less.

“Consumers need be aware that the bigger the chip the lower the fat content, for example thick cut chips can have significantly less fat than shoestring chips. The combination of shops cooking the chips following The Chip Group Industry Standards and consumers asking for thick cut chips really helps us enjoy healthier chips,” Glenda said.

Aside from a requirement for this year’s competitors to complete the online training, chip shops must also become a member of the Chip Group.

“In doing so, they are able to access the training as well as a host of benefits that will ultimately help shops as they go about their daily business.”

As with previous years, a combination of public text voting, mystery judging and chip fat analysis will determine the grand national winner, plus regional winners and finalists.
 
Public text voting runs from 1 July to 31July 2011, with mystery judging of shops taking place in August and the overall winner being announced in October.
 
Entrants will be judged on strict criteria including: display of training certificates, chip taste and quality, fat analysis, adherence to the Industry Standards, cleanliness and customer service.
Chip shop operators who would like to register for the Best Chip Shop Competition can do so by visiting www.thechipgroup.co.nz.

The 2011 Best Chip Shop Competition is the country’s only national chip shop competition and is this year supported by: Potatoes New Zealand, The Heart Foundation, McCain Foods, Mr Chips, Bakel’s Edible Oils, Groenz, Food & Beverage Today, Catering Plus and That’s Life.

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