Michael Pili, who runs the Midlands Seafish Industry Training Association, has won an award for his outstanding contribution to the fish frying industry after being nominated by his peers at the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards (26 January), organised by Seafish.
Michael, who offers training and business assistance to fish and chip shops, scooped The Award for Outstanding Achievement during a prestigious ceremony held at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London – an event widely regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry.
Sponsored by Middleton Food Products Limited, The Award for Outstanding Achievement recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution to the industry and has been instrumental in advancing the industry through innovation, modernisation or simple perspiration.
In his current role at the Midlands Seafish Industry Training Association, Michael works with a wide range of fish and chip businesses, training and offering them advise on topics such as food hygiene, health and safety, best practices, and preparation for quality award audits.
Michael also brings extensive knowledge and experience to his role as a judge for the annual Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Competition, along with being an assessor for the Fish & Chip Quality Award Scheme run by the National Federation of Fish Friers.
Michael is a past president of the National Federation of Fish Friers (1998-2000) and previously owned Chesters Catering and the Blue Angel Fish Bar in the Midlands area.
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, comments: “The aim of the National Fish & Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses and individuals in the UK while setting incredibly high standards for the rest of the fish and chip industry to aspire to.
“When searching for our outstanding achiever, representatives from across all parts of the fish and chip industry are invited to nominate a person deserving of recognition, and Michael’s nomination is one that the industry is wholeheartedly behind.
“As one of our longest-standing judges for the awards, Mike’s industry knowledge and skillset is unrivalled. With a background in fish frying and running fish and chip businesses, Michael is the perfect person to assess how all the different elements of the shop marry together.
“Throughout his time as a judge for The National Fish & Chip Awards, Michael has been to hundreds of shops across the country. He is respected for his fair critique of working practices and, most importantly, the fish and chips being served.
“Michael is an extremely worthy winner, and it’s a privilege being able to reward his life-long passion and commitment to the fish and chip trade. Warmest congratulations to Michael on his outstanding achievement.”
Award sponsor Peter Hill, CEO at Middleton Foods, said: “Mike Pili is renowned in our industry with over 55 years’ experience. He was not only one of the best friers in the past, but in recent years he has gone onto become one of the most thorough judges in the history of the awards and, arguably, the industry.
“Working tirelessly for years, he has raised the standards of our country’s fish and chip businesses, especially in the Midlands by embracing independent shop owners. He motivates others to expect and demand more from their businesses, constantly striving to push the industry forward and help shops serve a better product.
“In my opinion there is no person who has given what he has to this industry. What he does is instrumental to the development of our sector. He is a leading light, and this industry may still be in the dark ages without his contribution.”
Now in their 29th year, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. They celebrate the Great British tradition of fish and chips, showcasing the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses through 14 different award categories.
For more information visit www.fishandchipawards.com or follow @FishnChipAwards #FishnChipAwards.