The Fish & Chip Awards finally returned last month after a three-year absence and the atmosphere was electric
You don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone, so the saying goes. But I actually think as far as the Fish and Chip Awards go, it was more a case of we didn’t fully appreciate what had gone until it returned.
Chatting to guests as the room of the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge quickly filled up on Tuesday 28th February, it was clear I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. To have over 600 people in the industry come together, we were not just celebrating the best of our industry but showing unity and strength. In an industry almost predominately made up of independent businesses, it’s very easy to feel on your own, but that day reminded everyone of the huge amount of support and friendship we have in our vastly diverse, innovative and professional industry.
Jason Manford was a fantastic host and between jokes reminded us how we all have memories of fish and chips on a Friday. His was going to a full cupboard after a big shop had been done, shouting “what’s for dinner?” and his mum answering “a chippy tea!”. It’s so true and it’s that element of tradition that keeps Fish Friday going strong.
Norwegian minister for fisheries and ocean policy Bjørnar Selnes Skjæran said it all when he remarked: “Today we mark the UK’s most iconic dish, fish and chips, and all those people in it,” before reminding us that our oceans are “the only way to feed our growing population sustainably”.
There was a particularly poignant moment before the awards were announced when Ryan Baker, sales manager at Middleton Food Products, paid tribute to chief executive Peter Hill, remembering him as “a good man and a fabulous character”, before raising a toast in true Peter style – with two glasses in hand.
It was a proud day, whether you were a winner, runner-up, supplier, sponsor, guest or organiser. We have an amazing industry, full of operators working hard to be innovators and move it forward. Well done to everyone that won an award or put themselves forward.
- Survey reveals which city can handle the spiciest curry
- Foodservice price inflation falls for a third consecutive month
- Just Eat calls for government to do more to tackle plastic waste
- Rise in active leisure tourism benefits hospitality sector
- Former chip shop owner banned after admitting to food hygiene offences