25 February 2011

Local MSP To Present Whitehills Cafe With Top Award

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson will present proprietor of the Rockfish Café Mr Billy Gatt with a prestigious national award on Monday 28 February at 9.45am at 3 Loch Street, Whitehills, Banffshire.

The establishment has won the Seafish Friers Quality Award which means that the Whitehills-based business is now nationally recognised for producing first class fish and chips in a first class environment. Rockfish Café has achieved the maximum 5 star rating. Rockfish is only the 15th fish and chip restaurant in Scotland to achieve that rating.

An approved inspector checks the shop's image, design and condition, selection of raw materials (fish, potatoes, oils, etc.), storage, hygiene and cleaning, product care, handling and temperature control, packaging, quality of the final product, management systems, training and skills. The award lasts for one year and is renewed if high standards are maintained.

Mr Gatt points out that Rockfish employs 3 staff and is providing a service to Whitehills that has not existed for over 5 years. Rockfish has opened in premises that were previously vacant and two other businesses are opening in vacant business premises in Whitehills. Mr Gatt is keen to praise the support of local councillors during the planning process which has helped his new businesses in the village to take root.

Rockfish is largely supplied with fish by Mr Gatt’s own fishing vessel Audacious with the catch processed through the local firm of Downies of Whitehills. The Audacious is skippered by Billy Gatt’s son and nephew and the family have been involved in the industry for over 100 years.

Commenting, local MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“I am absolutely delighted for Billy and his team here in Whitehills for landing this prestigious award.

“I think it is a great reflection on the quality of the seafood served which is in large part down to the fact that it is caught locally and processed locally through Downies of Whitehills before being enjoyed locally.

“Hopefully, with this award, many more people from further afield will be encouraged to take a trip to the Banffshire Coast and sample the delicious fare on offer and I offer my congratulations to Billy for bringing a national award to Whitehills.”
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