Castleford fryer raises the ‘steaks’ in chip shop game

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Flour ground in the same way as it has been for hundreds of years is helping an entrepreneurial Castleford fish fryer with his ambition to ‘bring fish and chips into the 21st century’.

Mark Hopkinson took over Lane’s Fisheries, on Beancroft Road, in August last year, relaunching it as Hoppy’s Off the Hook. As well as introducing some unusual variations on this most traditional of foods, he is now baking his own meat pies – using stoneground flour produced by Castleford Heritage Trust at the town’s Queen’s Mill.

Mr Hopkinson, who learned his trade in the Army Catering Corps and worked as a chef for 29 years, has also added quirky dishes such as cod dogs, sweet potato fishcakes, steamed fish with lemon, pea fritters and gluten-­free options, to the menu.

He said: “I bought the business to put down roots closer to home, rather than travelling around the UK and Ireland as had been the case with my previous job. I am trying to support and source ingredients from local businesses, aiming to bring fish and chips into the 21st century, serving them the traditional way but also with modern twists and healthy options. The pies have gone down very well and the Queen’s Mill flour makes excellent pastry.”

Off the Hook has just been awarded a five ­star hygiene rating by Wakefield Council, which has also encouraged him to apply for an Eat Well award.