Mike discovered his life passion when he moved to work in a South East Asian restaurant group quite early in his career and his love affair with Asian food began. Approached by YO! Sushi to open its first store outside of London in Manchester, Mike quickly moved up the ranks and became the Executive Chef overseeing the menus and purchasing for their 100 restaurants across the globe. Mike literally lives and breathes Japanese food and immerses himself into the food and culture frequently visiting Japan to source the latest ingredients.
As Executive Chef at YO! Sushi he has helped make Japanese food accessible in the UK. The menu has expanded from 40 dishes in 1997 when it first opened to a highly detailed and broad selection which delights over 6 million people a year.
What excites Mike is how you take the flavours of Japan and introduce them to a British palate. Mike’s aim is to showcase the very best culinary delights, innovations and new tastes that Japan has to offer, constantly experimenting with new flavours and creating new dishes. Mike has won multiple industry awards from an Acorn Award, Menu Innovation Awards and New Limited Time Menu Awards.
My connection with seafood
I have spent 14 years in the kitchens at YO! Sushi, during this time seafood has become a very important part of my life. I am constantly inspired by the flavours of the ocean and am always looking to introduce our customers to new, exciting varieties of seafood. Salmon and tuna are our most popular fish, but by introducing new species like mackerel, octopus and amaebi we have encouraged our customers to be more experimental and make the most of the diverse seafood we have to offer.
Why sustainability is important to me
We are committed to sourcing our seafood responsibly as our entire business is built on seafood, so securing the future of fish stocks is incredibly important to us. We ensure that all seafood sold at YO! Sushi is sustainably sourced by working with a fish supplier who do not sell any species which are endangered and would never include bluefin tuna on our menu. Our supplier works with government authorities, NGOs, charities and wildlife groups to ensure fishing is sustainable and to prevent illegal, unregulated fishing, which helps to preserve fish stocks for future generations.