5 minutes with Kelly Morgan.
Name: Kelly Morgan
Business and location: Kelly operates three fish and chip shops across Mackay in north Queensland -- Morgan’s Fish Market; Morgan’s Fish Bar and Morgan’s Northern Beaches.
Can you share a happy fish & chip memory?
My earliest fish and chip recollection involves Sydney’s Manly beach and my grandfather ‘Pop’. With a salty breeze, the sound of the ocean and seagulls, we ate a delicious meal of fresh, battered fish and hot, crispy chips.
Where have you eaten the best fish & chips?
Well, Morgan’s in Mackay of course. But when I am out of town I’d have to say Tobin Fish Tales in Townsville does fantastic fresh-caught Queensland fish & chips, Frying Nemo’s in Darwin or Sweetlips in Perth
In your business, what do you consider to be the best fish to use for fish & chips?
Spanish Mackerel is a good option for crumbed or battered fish and is readily available year round. It’s firm but moist. My other choice is Red Throat Emperor because it is sweet and delicious.
And how do customers enjoy it?
Locals seem equally keen on both crumbed and battered options.
For crumbed fish we use a course, breaded crumb, which gives a nice crunchy texture.
Battered fish is also popular and I think the lighter and crunchier the texture the better it tastes and the less oil it holds.
After numerous batter trials we have found one that works and we make it daily in-store. It’s light and it’s crispy -- basically just self raising flour, water, egg and food colouring that is well mixed and kept refrigerated. The trick is to keep batters cold – it helps make the fish really crunch.
Do you have a personal favourite?
My favourite is a nice thick piece of lightly floured, grilled Barramundi served with lots of lemon and a crunchy salad.
What Australian wine (or other beverage) would you match with your fish & chips?
A crisp, dry white or Sauvignon Blanc goes well with a grilled fish and crunchy salad meal. For a fresh seafood platter with lots of prawns and bugs, a nice glass of bubbly is lovely, while a craft beer is great with crumbed fish and chips.
How long have you been making/serving fish & chips?
I opened my first fish & chip shop five years ago in north Mackay after owning a fresh seafood retail store. I’ve since built and opened two more in Mackay.
Kelly is a previous state winner of the Fish and Chips award.