Fraser Mathieson takes his fish and chip seriously.

June 26, 2011

The Scotland-born professional chef of 32 years took over Welland Fish and Chips on Thorold Road back in February and one concept has guided him in his efforts — fresh food made entirely from scratch.

“Most people just bring them (pre-battered cuts of fish) in frozen, I want to show people you don’t have to just deep fry crap,” he said, adding, “it’s all as home made as I can make home made.”

The concept doesn’t stop with his selection of haddock, cod, perch and sole that he hand batters with a recipe he has developed over the last 20 years cooking in Montreal. Mathieson has brought a taste of his native Scotland to the restaurant introducing home-made steak and kidney pies, steak pies, shepherds pies, black pudding, Batchelor’s mushy peas and more.

“It has to be Batchelor’s, ask any Brit,” said Mathieson, adding that poutine lovers should stop by as his gravy is actually authentic Montreal poutine sauce.

As for the chips — they are all hand cut from farm potatoes. The coleslaw and tartar both come from Mathieson’s own recipes and are made fresh on site.

One more Scottish specialty offered by Mathieson has been growing more popular at the restaurant. That dish is Rumblethumps, a mix of mashed potatoes, sauteed onions, cabbage, carrots, cheese and cheese curds. The blended mix of ingredients is cooked to rise and makes a hearty side dish or meal on its own. Mathieson added that with the cheese and potatoes at the forefront the dish is a great way to get picky kids to happily down their vegetables.

“I’ve actually ran out,” said Mathieson, explaining that with business picking up he has trouble keeping enough Rumblethumps prepared for rising demand.

Mathieson decided to move to southern Ontario to be close to his mother-in-law who lives in Toronto, but, when it came to choosing Welland it was the people in the city that drew him in.

“The people are so friendly, they are so like the people I grew up with” said Mathieson, adding that the Welland residents carry with them the friendly nature of his small Scottish home town. He recalled that when he first took over the business there was a host of problems with the building. He contacted a local contractor who connected him with the tradesmen to get the necessary work done.

“They never charged me a dime, what he told me was ‘get yourself on your feet’,” said Mathieson.

The New Welland Fish and Chips is located at 397 Thorold Rd. and delivery is available.

The restaurant can be reached at 905-732-9444.                     

 (From a Welland  Newspaper  article)

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