British Street Food Awards

The British Street Food Awards – that have become an end-of-season institution since they were founded back in 2009 — went all European this year. The festival of vans, trucks and trailers showcased the very best of street food from across the entire continent. Traders travelled from Stockholm, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Berlin to compete, but the winners were Katie and Kim from Bristol, who baked out of a converted horse box to be voted Best of the Best.

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Katie and Kim won the title for their amazing cheese scones, still warm from the oven, and bowls of stovies with oatcakes spread with thick curls of Scottish butter. As Best of the Best, they have now secured a premier pitch at Trinity Kitchen, the new retail development in Leeds opening later this month. British Street Food are curating the new TK food court, which will involve an ever-changing roster of the new wave of Britain’s street food stars.

2013 has been the year of street food, with markets popping up all over Britain. And food retailers are working out how best to engage with the new bloods. Manchester Airport, for instance, offered Ginger’s Comfort Emporium – the winners of the British Street Food Awards 2012 – a pitch indoors. Restaurants that began on the street (Pitt Cue, Pizza Pilgrims, Daisy Green, Yum Bun, Homeslice and Meat Liquor) have been massively successful. Even supermarkets are trying to get in on the act by introducing ‘street food’ ranges. There’s something about the way of eating that has captured the public’s imagination.

The 4,500 people who attended the 2013 BSFAs, in London’s Dalston Yard, voted for the People’s Choice Award on the new British Street Food app. It’s fair to say that Bao from London were clear winners. They make every element of their signature Gua Bao, or steamed pork belly bun, themselves — from the soya milk to the peanut powder that’s hand-shaved from gigantic peanut brittle. Probably why they were also victorious in Best Main Dish (sponsored by NCASS).

Cookery writer and actress Fay Ripley joined food writer and broadcaster Tom Parker Bowles and Simon Anderson, one of the team behind Pitt Cue, to judge all 40 dishes. They were all kept in line by the founder of the British Street Food Awards food journalist Richard Johnson. There was a caravan from Kent making sponge cakes, and an army field kitchen cooking up the best of ingredients foraged from the Scottish countryside. With snow cones from 13-year-old Stan, Britain’s youngest street food trader. And a ‘Snoop Hoggy Dog’ that Tom Parker Bowles declared the best hot dog he had ever tasted.

The Best Dessert category was hoovered up by Ginger’s Comfort Emporium – for the third year running – for their take on a 99. This soft-serve olive oil ice cream came with Hawaiian black salt sprinkles and a dark chocolate flake that was studded with black olives. The duo are from Manchester, and (along with other winners, including the Beats street food collective from Bristol and the Digbeth Dining Club from Birmingham) reflect a really broad base to the street food phenomenon in Britain.

But it was nice to see, after all their efforts, that our continental cousins managed to take home a bit of silverware. Best Drink and Best Burger, for instance, which went to the French for an obscenely rich milkshake and a boeuf bourgignon burger. And Highly Commendeds for the extraordinary beetroot couscous from the Netherlands and the soft shell crab taco from Sweden. Plus big-time bragging rights for travelling for 48 hours to join the party.

Richard Johnson, the founder of the British Street Food Awards, sees 2013/2014 as a period of real growth. Johnson (who is a regular presenter of the Food Programme for BBC Radio 4, and writes a street food column for the Guardian) is even working with Leon and the government to put street food swagger into children’s school dinners. “It feels like the original idea of street food – to make good fun food accessible to everyone – is finally starting to turn into a reality.”

Best of the Best (sponsored by Trinity Kitchen)

Katie and Kim

The People’s Choice

Bao

Runners-Up

Dorshi and Street Kitchen

Best Main Dish (sponsored by NCASS)

Pork Belly Bao (Bao)

Highly Commended

Beetroot and Couscous Salad (Buskruid)

Others

Roe Venison Tagine (Wild Rover Food)

Stovies and Oatcakes (Katie and Kim)

Dorset Gyoza (Dorshi)

Kasspatzle (Heisser Hobel)

Best Sandwich

No Lobster Roll (Tongue ‘N Cheek)

Highly Commended

Chilli Paneer Wrap (Manjit’s Kitchen)

Others

Prawn and Pork Bun (Bunsmobile)

BBQ Pork (Tinderbox)

The British Croq (Keep On Toasting)

The Vegetarian Croq (Keep On Toasting)

Torta Fritta (Gurmetti)

Best Snack

The Snoop Hoggy Dog (Big Apple Hot Dogs)

Highly Commended

Toasted Cheese Scone (Katie and Kim)

Soya Milk Fried Chicken (Bao)

Sol battered soft shell crab taco (El Taco)

Others

Cullen Skink with Home-made Wheaten Bread (Wild Rover Food)

Carrot and Coriander Soup (Buskruid)

Dorset Sushi (Dorshi)

Bhel Puri (Manjit’s)

Best Burger

The Bourgignon Burger (Le Refectoire)

Highly Commended

Picante Heartbreaker (Tongue ‘N Cheek)

Others

Heinz 57 Burgerdog (Street Kitchen)

R Mutt Burgerdog (Street Kitchen)

Beef Burger (Gurmetti)

Best Dessert

Mr Whippy with Sprinkles and a Flake (Gingers Comfort Emporium)

Highly Commended

Mojito Ice Lolly (Ice Kitchen)

Others

Baked Plums, Crumble and Crème Fraiche (The Tinderbox)

Raspberry, Basil and White Chocolate Ice Lolly (Ice Kitchen)

Snow Cone with Home-made Rhubarb and Jasmine Syrup (Stan’s Snow Cones)

Beer and Nuts (Bessie)

Kent Harvest Cake (Bessie)

Rhubarb and Custard Candy Floss (Cotton Club)

Sherbert Dip Candy Floss (Cotton Club)

Best Drink


Paris-Brest Milkshake with “Praline” (Le Refectoire)

Highly Commended

Ginger Beer (Square Root London)

Others

Raspberry Lemonade (Square Root London)_

Coconut Horchita (Chinampas)

Agua de Chia (Chinampas)

Best Overseas Trader

Heisser Hobel

Best Young Trader – One To Watch

Stan from Stan’s Snow Cones

Best Street Food Collective

BEATS from Bristol

Best Street Food Event

Digbeth Dining Club

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