John scooped The Award for Outstanding Achievement during a prestigious ceremony hosted by the voice of food and drink on BBC Radio 2, Nigel Barden, at the Lancaster London Hotel in London.
Sponsored by Middleton Food Products, this award 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.
Over 40 years ago, John started out his business by selling potatoes to the trade. Despite a horrific car crash which confined him to a wheel chair for life John battled through over a year’s treatment in Stoke Mandeville to restart his business.
Between John and his son Oliver and daughter Claire, they now distribute over two million bags of potatoes to fish and chip shops across the UK and Ireland every year many of which are grown in the fens.
In addition they purchased Chippy Chat, the leading magazine for fish friers and suppliers, as well as launching his annual ‘Field to Frier’ open day which is attended by key delegates across the industry. Both magazine and event are regarded as a poignant source of sharing knowledge within the trade, showcasing new product launches and best practice from across the industry.
Mel Groundsell, Corporate Relations Director of Seafish, said: “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 industry.
“The fish frying industry is not one which is short of exceptional talent however there can only be one winner in this award category. John has been raising the bar for fellow fish and chip operators for over 40 years and is a truly deserving winner of such a special award. He has dedicated his life to improving the standards of his trade and it’s something we are all very thankful for.
“When searching for our outstanding achiever, representatives from across all parts of the fish frying industry are invited to nominate a person deserving of recognition, and John’s nomination is truly one that the industry is wholeheartedly behind.”
“John 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. He is a very popular member of the fish and chip community, joining various promotional groups over the years at the Potato Council and the National Federation of Fish Friers. Warmest congratulations to John on his outstanding achievement.”
Now in their 28th year, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. Widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, they celebrate the great British tradition of fish and chips, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses.
John was truly shocked by the award as he was there to help present an award himself which Isle of Ely Produce themselves sponsor. The Field to Frier award was won by Craig Buckley from the Fish Bar in Crewe.
For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards please visit www.fishandchipawards.