The UK’s best street food traders are coming to Manchester


The British Street Food Awards finals will be held at the GRUB food fair at Mayfield Depot this year.


The British Street Food Awards are coming to Manchester, and with them come 17 of the UK’s best street food traders. After five regional heats, the 17 best traders in the UK will fight it out to be crowned champion – and win the right to represent the Britain in the inaugural European Street Food Awards in Berlin.

Taking place at GRUB Food Fair at the Mayfield Depot, the derelict railway station is being repurposed as the centre of the street food world – for one weekend at least – and punters will enjoy free tastings of the competition dishes.

Manchester’s own Chaart Cart and Dim Sum Su are among the traders that will be battling it out over the weekend.

The street food event will be accompanied by GRUB’s craft beer festival, serving the best from breweries in Manchester and beyond – with free tasters for visitors.

A guest judging panel, including Andi Oliver (BBC’s Great British Menu) will choose two stand-out traders, and both winners will go to Berlin where they’ll take on traders from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Russia, the Netherlands and Ireland.

“Street food is taking over” says Richard Johnson, founder of the British Street Food Awards. “And that’s because we are choosing to eat in different ways. We don’t want a fixed starter-main course-dessert menu any more – we want a bit of this and a bit of that. “It’s flirty, low-commitment dining, and it’s why pop-ups and street food have become so popular. Street food is making the world a much nicer place to be.”

Jason Bailey, founder of GRUB said “We’ve worked hard for the last three years to build our events and Manchester’s street food scene so it’s a massive honour for us and a great acknowledgement of our home city to be hosting the British Street Food Award final. It’s going to be magic”

The British Street Food Awards UK Finals take place on Saturday September 16 from 12pm – 10pm and Sunday September 17 from 12pm – 6pm Tickets cost £5 in advance and are on sale now. A limited number will also be available on the door.

List of British Street Food Awards finalists

Mr D’s Magnificent Pie Machine, Leeds.
Mr D is looking forward to bringing his Pie Machine to Manchester. And what a machine it is – think Steampunk meets Willy Wonka and Wallace & Gromit.

Tikk’s Thai Kitchen, York.
Born on the paradise white island of Koh Samui in Southern Thailand, the young Tikk loved nothing more than helping out in the family restaurant kitchen, preparing the food and learning traditional techniques along the way. He has long since left the turquoise waters of Thailand behind, but he’s still obsessive about locally-sourced ingredients.

Dim Sum Su, Manchester.
Sue Chiu-Fan Lee was born in Hong Kong and worked in the family food business as soon as she was old enough to reach the till. She’s now all grown up, and cooking authentic dim sum, gua bao, wontons and spring rolls for discerning customers in the North West of England.

Brother Thai, Cardiff.
Taking inspiration from Thai family cooking and the famous Soi’s of Bangkok, Brother Thai is all about creating classic Thai street food dishes. Expect flavours like his thai red curry, the pad pao: stir fried beef with green beans in a nam prik pao paste and thai papaya slaw.

Truly Crumptious, Cornwall.
Is there anything more delicious than a crumpet? Yes. A homemade crumpet. Made with organic flour from the South West, and cooked up on a lightly-oiled griddle to give it a crisp, thick base. Serve it out of a 1967 Cheltenham Waterbuck – built in the day when caravans looked like caravans – with butter, jam or cheese, and you’ve got something just a little bit special.

Baked in Brick, Birmingham.
Lee and co. are back to defend their 2017 Best of the Best title. Last year’s final was all about BIB’s thin-crust pizza, cooked on a wood-fired oven in a classic mini, and succulent chicken skewers barbecued under the bonnet.

Low ‘N’ Slow, Bristol.
Andy is a true connoisseur of meat. He imports his ribs from Dexter farms in America, and understands about the need for fat – it’s what carries the flavour. The queue for meat like this was ridiculous, but it’s well worth waiting for.

Homeboys, Nottingham.
Pete Hewitt from Nottingham was a Masterchef finalist in 2015, yet his real passion is for more informal dining – what he calls ‘the bread and butter, the everyday eatin’.’ So he imported himself a 1978 Grumman Olson Stepvan from the US and set up Homeboys, specialising in Japanese soul food. Expect a strong veggie menu (braised aubergine donburi with soy cured yolk, pickels and tempura sauce) and meaty classics such as karaage and pickles – Japanese fried chicken.

The Bourneville Waffle Company, Birmingham.
Presentation at the Bournville Waffle – from the beautiful vintage Mustang caravan to the good-looking team and their colour-coordinated aprons – is what rates this outfit as a cut above the rest. Jenny and Des are behind the operation, but locals might also know them as the two behind Birmingham’s Seasonal Markets events.

The English Indian, Lichfield.
Being accepted as a trader into Digbeth Dining Club is no easy feat. The organisers are inundated with traders wanting a pitch and Anna and James were concerned that their application would get lost, even though their plan to reinvent English dishes with Indian spicing was an original one. Expect classic fast food dishes with an Indian twist.

The Buffalo Truck, Edinburgh.
Once a marine biologist, Robin had had enough of spreadsheets and mud and sideways rain. Now, it’s less about the spreadsheets, and more about the buttermilk chicken burgers with truffle parmesan fries. ‘It’s high-class filth, essentially,’ says Robin. ‘Although fried chicken as a whole is far from revolutionary, I have managed to develop a cult following.’

ShrimpWreck, Edinburgh.
ShrimpWreck started life as a side project. Little more than a fryer and a griddle, but ‘enough fish to feed an army,’ as Ewen says. Things began to take off after that. More recently, Ewen entered the Fish Finger Sandwich Awards to impress a panel of judges, including Greg Wallace, in London.

Stickybundits, London.
Stickybundits is what happens when you take the idea behind sushi and the idea behind the burger and put one and two together. Stickybundits live and die by the creed of ‘bread is dead’ – this stuff wears the stripes of gluten free and dairy free, with a vegan option to boot. Slow cooked pork belly with a pork patty, Asian basil chutney and peanuts, all in a sesame rice bun is the kind of thing that gets people running for the hills of soy and sticky rice.

Wingmans, London.
They call themselves the UK’s first ‘authentic wingery’. Bit ambitious. But then again, it’s that kind of ambitiousness what wins British Street Food Awards. Visitors can grab some of their crispy fried buttermilk chicken, sideckicked by truffle mac n’ cheese balls.

Chaat Cart, Manchester.
After five years selling South Indian snacks and small plates across the streets of the North, Chaat Cart have just opened their first bricks and mortar place in Marple. But that hasn’t stopped them from taking to the streets with their flavourful food. What to expect for their Awards menu? Indian classics such as bhel puri, gunpowder fries, homestyle lentil dahl and masala dosa that champion British produce.

(Article source: Manchester Evening News)

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