Townsville’s Tobin Fish Tales will represent Queensland at the National Fish and Chips awards after fighting off tough competition from across the state.
The Queensland Judged Fish and Chips category brought in some of the highest number of shops wanting to be judged from across the country.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and fisheries Mark Furner said shops in the top five spanned from Redland City to Brisbane, the Gold Coast to Townsville, but Tobin Fish Tales came out on top.
“The judges praised Tobin Fish Tales for its remarkable fish selection, produce preparation and staff expertise and knowledge,” Mr Furner said.
“Tobin Fish Tales are a complete chain that catch, slice, cook and sell to produce a quintessential Queensland seafood experience.
“The journey to the table begins with owners, Andrew and Renae Tobin, catching the fish for the store and procuring what is needed from local fishermen.”
Andrew and Renae Tobin are unique when it comes to fish and chip shop owners. Not only are they commercial fishers and have been licenced to fish in Queensland for over twenty years.
Both Andrew and Renae have PhDs in fisheries. Judges said it was clear that this expertise had been shared with staff.
Judges found it particularly remarkable that even junior staff demonstrated exceptional knowledge and enthusiasm to share their knowledge with customers.
“Their staff were not only friendly but knowledgeable and really helpful, guiding us with suggestions for the best fish for each cooking method,” the anonymous judges said.
“Not only was all the fish cooked to perfection, the fish really tasted fresh and the cooking method did not overpower the actual taste of the fish. All wrapped in the traditional white butchers’ paper with eco-friendly cutlery.”
The chips served up, while not made in store, went through a strict customer approval process. The Tobin’s sourced a variety of chips and held a ‘chip competition’ for customers to rate the chips they liked the best.
The result, judges said, “Great chips”!
Mr Furner said Tobin Fish Tales would do Queensland proud.
“Everyone knows Australia’s best seafood comes from right here in Queensland, and Tobin’s does a fantastic job preparing it,” Mr Furner said.
“When we encourage Queenslanders to #eatqld and get behind Queensland produce, it is top-quality seafood like this that we are talking about.
“I wish them well on the national stage and congratulate them – the whole of Queensland is behind you.”
This year’s awards brought in new records from fish and chip shops and enthusiasts alike, drawing in record participation from over 1,000 shops or around 40 per cent of Australia’s fish and chip operators.
The competition proved popular among fish and chip customers, breaking voter records with almost 40,000 verified votes.
The National Awards will be held 10 October 2019.