When it comes to the best fish and chips in town, Chesters batters the opposition.
The Sheffield Road restaurant and takeaway has been named the Derbyshire Times Chip Shop of the Year 2014, despite only opening its doors two years ago.
Accepting his award, owner Chris Ionannides said: “It feels really, really good that people enjoy coming here and they are happy with what we are doing.
“What is so good about this job is that is makes me happy when my customers are happy, so this award is really nice.”
Chris, 32, is a chip-off-the-old-block when it comes to the business. His grandad opened a chip shop in Derby in the 50s, followed by his dad in the 80s.
When love brought him to Chesterfield a few years ago, he decided to branch out on his own and set up Chesters – so named after the Spireites mascot.
“My father-in-law is a Chesterfield FC fan,” laughed father-of-one, Chris, who grew up in Derby working in the family shops.
“But chip shops are definitely the family tradition.Two of my sisters own chip shops, my brother owns a chip shop, and then my dad nd my grandad.”
Chesters prides itself on serving fresh fish, delivered daily from Grimsby. When there are no deliveries – like on Sunday’s and over Christmas – the restaurant doesn’t open.
And you can forget deep-fried mars bars or other unusual battered snacks. Fish is the only thing getting battered in Chris’ shop, because other things ruin the oil.
At Chesters, they are so discerning when it comes to the food they cook, they have people driving for more than an hour to sample the fayre.
“We have one group that drive from past Barnsley to eat here. And one couple used to eat here and moved to the seaside. Now they say they have to come back here for the best fish and chips.
“It is amazing to think people will come all this way to eat here.”
Graeme Huston, editor of the Derbyshire Times, said: “We have sampled the food at Chesters on more than one occasion and it is definitely a worthy winner.
“We are lucky to have such a wide range of chip shops to choose from across Derbyshire and you voted in your hundreds for your number one.”