FRIES WITH THAT? Alister Robertson from the Ballina Fishermen’s Co-op with a plate of their fish and chips. The Co-op is a finalist in the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards.
FRIES WITH THAT? Alister Robertson from the Ballina Fishermen’s Co-op with a plate of their fish and chips. The Co-op is a finalist in the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards. Cathy Adams

Co-op run go for gold at Seafood Excellence Awards

FISH and chips: It's the perfect beachside lunch, the takeaway you order on Friday night after a busy week, and one of our all-time favourite Aussie meals.

We love sharing it with our families and the seagulls.

So where can you find the best fish and chips on the Northern Rivers?

The Ballina Fishermen's Coop reckons it has the freshest and tastiest fish on offer.

Retail manager Alister Robertson said making good fish and chips all comes down to using fresh, locally caught fish.

Oh, and it also helps to have a secret batter recipe.

"We've got jewfish, snapper, trawl whiting, and local flake at the moment," he said.

"It's all locally caught from sustainable stock.

"I think that's important for our customers, especially in a fishing town like Ballina.

"My favourite is the trawl whiting ... it's so sweet and delicate. Parents love buying it for their kids; they tell them it's fish fingers."

Mr Robertson has been running the retail section of the coop for the past five years.

He is a chef by trade, and said he loved using fish caught by local fishermen.

"A lot of fish and chips shops turn to pre-crumbed and pre-battered products because of financial pressure," he said.

"But I am more focused on giving my customers fresh, local fish all year round.

"Our cook, Graham Robertson, has a special batter recipe that he uses.

"He carries it around in his head so none of us know it."

The coop is in the running for the People's Choice award at the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards.

Voting for the awards is now open, and Mr Robertson is urging locals to support the coop.

In order to vote, send text "Ballina Fishermen's Coop" to 0429 411 326. Voting closes at 11.59pm on Thursday, August 13.

All those who vote are automatically in the draw to win a $260 Sydney Seafood School voucher for the opportunity to learn how to whip up a sensational seafood feast.


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