The Bay’s Calum Richardson celebrates National Fish and Chip Day, and the importance of sourcing ingredients the right way.
Calum celebrates the famous takeaway and explains how he creates the perfect fish and chips, from fishermen and farmers sourcing ingredients to prepping the produce and cooking to make for the perfect fish and chips.
National Fish and Chip Day takes place on Friday 27th May this year. The history of fish and chips has been traced all the way back to the 15th century in Portugal. It wasn’t until the 1860s that this now well-loved dish was introduced to England, and since then the nation hasn’t been able to get enough of it, and for good reason.
On this day, we want to focus on celebrating the legendary takeaway, a subject Calum is passionate about for obvious reasons. Calum’s here to tell us about his exciting plans for National Fish and Chips Day. Also talking about the effort, time and resources that go into sourcing the right ingredients and cooking them correctly to ensure the perfect fish and chips are made.
Hi Calum, we thought we’d start off with the question that is on everyone’s minds. What makes the perfect recipe for fish and chips in your opinion?
Well, as you can imagine it’s not as easy as many people might believe. You have to really understand the ingredients. There’s not one perfect recipe for fish and chips, which is what I love about the dish. Understand the ingredients and your recipe will come to life.
It’s important to consider where your ingredients come from; is it locally sourced or not and not only that but how they come to you, was it treated with care and respect before it reached you or had it been thrown about and aimlessly looked after? These are all factors that will affect the outcome of your fish and chips, as the quality and the care of the ingredients are essential to making the perfect fish and chips.
How do your fish and chips differ from that of your competition?
We’ve had the same outlook from the beginning of our fish and chip journey, which is to not compare. There’s no point focusing on other people and what they’re doing.
If you concentrate on yourself and perfecting your own recipes, then it means you can give your all and get the best results, rather than being distracted and looking at others.
Can you tell us more about the suppliers and produce you use to create your menu?
We have always been very particular about our suppliers, making sure that we choose them carefully.
I think a lot of people can get fixated on the idea of local suppliers, which of course is important, but it’s looking beyond that and at the journey of the ingredients. Just because it’s a local supplier it doesn’t mean it’s local produce, it’s a false perception that lots of people use in the food supplying trade.
Once you’ve gained a bit of experience, and maybe even tried and tested a few suppliers, you’ll come to learn of real local suppliers who truly care about the journey their produce has gone through.
It’s so important to create a good relationship with your suppliers, where you have a mutual trust and a bond between yourselves. It’s the simple things that really go a long way like paying their invoices straight away and respecting each other.
Does prepping the produce affect the taste? And if so, how?
Yes, 100%! The best example of this is with fish. Because of how delicate it can be, the more you handle it the more it deuterates, which is the last thing you want.
You want to keep the handling of your produce to a minimum at all times really.
How long did it take you to perfect your fish and chip recipe? Do you have anyone else to thank for that other than your good self?
They’re not perfect, and we’re completely happy to admit that. Although a traditional dish, there are always elements that can change and differ, and you have to be willing to change and keep up with the times. There’s always ways to improve.
Even down to the type of oil you use, that can be improved as different alternatives get experimented with.
We’ve heard you’re giving away free fish and chips in Edinburgh to celebrate. Can you tell us a bit more about how this opportunity came about?
Yes, we’re excited to be hitting the road in The Bay On The Road van to celebrate National Fish and Chips Day. We usually always work with NEODA to celebrate this day, but between suppliers and ourselves we can donate free produce, in Edinburgh, for the good of the industry
Whereabouts in Edinburgh will people find you to be able to get their fresh fish and chips and when will you be there?
We’ll be in Edinburgh on Friday 27th May – the day of National Fish and Chips day, service will be between 12-2pm.
Address: Teviot Row House, 13 Bristo Pl, Edinburgh EH8 9AJ
Will you be celebrating in the shop on National Fish and Chip Day too?
Of course, in the shop we’ll be giving free Bay’s BBQ sauce tasters with all orders.
And we’ll be giving away free merchandise to random customers when they order in store with us.
We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on a day that means a lot to us all at The Bay.
What do you think makes fish and chips so special in Scotland?
We may be biased but Scotland is the best place for produce and people. We have an abundance of great produce and passionate people and suppliers.
Businesses here have moved with the times which helped improve the industry a lot. The new generation of business owners that we’re starting to see are willing to work with each other, have a lot of respect for one another and embrace change positively, which is great to see.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It’s good to see that life is coming back to a bit more normality and we can start planning ahead again after over 2 years of riding a wave into a storm. There are of course, very troubling times ahead between Brexit and the war in Ukraine. But, if we all pull together, we can come through it.
So, if you’re able to make it to Scotland on this day, make sure you grab your Bay fish and chips in Edinburgh or in store and celebrate the day with us.
If you can’t make it to Scotland, don’t forget to celebrate this great day at home. You can always order The Bay batter and enjoy The Bay experience from home. https://menus.preoday.com/The-Bay#/main/venue/menu