CHIPPY Danny Dyke’s in Gloucester has been “very, very busy” since a Michelin-starred chef declared the takeaway to be the place he would buy his last meal on earth.
Tom Kerridge grew up in the county and said fish and chips from the Sydenham Terrace takeaway, washed down with a can of Lilt, would be his final supper.
Co-manager of Danny Dyke’s fish and chip shop, Erini Panayi, 60, said: “We were very, very busy on Tuesday night – I am not sure if that was a coincidence.
“We always have good feedback from customers but it is very nice to get feedback from somebody who is a good cook.”
The TV chef, who runs the Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, attended Saintbridge Secondary School and recently declared his love for the Gloucester chippy in an interview with the Daily Mail.
Erini said she is “proud” the takeaway she runs with her son, Stellios, 37, has won acclaim from a chef of such calibre but she said the success is down to sheer hard work.
Although they are yet to meet Tom, they said it was “lovely” that he contacted the Citizen through Twitter to “say hi” to them and pass on his best wishes to the team.
The family said it does its best to provide a high standard of customer service and says the hard work does not stop when the shop is closed.
Erini said: “We are a traditional fish and chip shop and we do take a lot of care in the products we give to customers and we make sure we are clean and hygienic.
“There is plenty of parking outside the front of the shop, which helps customers. We’re a family-run business and we cook everything fresh, so we get regulars coming back to us every week.
“It’s important to provide a good service because you never know if one of your customers will become a celebrity one day.
“But the success is also down to hard work – and not just when the shop is open. When we are closed we make sure everything is at a high standard,” she said.
The family took over the shop 22 years go from the famous Danny Dykes, who was in his mid-80s when he died around a year ago.
Stellios, who is proud to have the highest food hygiene rating of five stars, said the fish preparation methods will remain a closely-guarded secret for “competition” reasons. He added: “We are quite varied with the fish and do four different sizes.
“There is always a choice but it is fresh and brought in ‘slabs’ and is cut down and weighed to size – so there is a lot of food preparation involved.
“It is not a simple case of just frying some fish. But we are supposed to be the third oldest shop as well,” Stellios added.
Erini said her family moved to England from Cyprus nearly 50 years ago.
“We used to live in London, but Gloucester is lovely,” she said.
Did the fish and chips live up to expectations?
David Shepherd gave them a try:
"It must be tricky for independent takeaways to make a living while people across the West Country tighten their belts due to the financial squeeze. But things can become somewhat easier for those fish and chip shops who win national acclaim from Michelin-starred chefs.
Following his recommendation, I ventured down to Danny Dyke’s chippy to sample their main dish.
Having tried cod and chips from coastal towns as far and wide as Newlyn to Grimsby, Danny Dyke’s was impressive.
The cod was large, fresh and juicy and the batter was lovely and crisp.
I did not find it heavy or too greasy, in fact it left me wanting more.
But did I wash it down with a can of Lilt like Tom? No, I opted for Pepsi."