26 | Jun | 17

Hugh Thomas

Beside the Seaside

You know that Kooks song — Seaside? Never liked it. Never liked The Kooks either, but I get their sentiment. Whether we’re talking about youthful pining or full-blown street food shindigs, the seaside’s where hearts, minds, and stomachs are won.

It so happens The Kooks formed in Brighton. That song was probably inspired by the same beach this year’s London and the South heat takes place on this summer. Yessiree – swap yer Kooks for yer Cooks, because British Street Food and Brighton’s Big Screen are hosting fifteen traders on Brighton’s sand-and-shingle, right next to the Palace Pier. As far as street food environs go, we think it’s up there.

We’ve had the Scotland heat already. Plus Wales and the West. Central. And the North. This will be the last heat. And, because we’re after the best of the best, we’ll be seeing some familiar faces – The Little Blue Smokehouse make their return in the Awards, as do last year’s finalists Eat The Farm. Plus we’ve recalled previous winners of the London the South heat Crabbieshack. As for others, we’ve handpicked some local talent, like Newhaven BBQ hawkers Pig & Jacket and Punjabi food purveyors (via Horsham) Jah Jyot, to join in on the fun (full list here). Did we mention you’re invited too?

It’s a return to Brighton for us as well. This isn’t our first rodeo in the city, as street food collective Street Diner will tell you. They co-hosted the South heat at Brighthelm Gardens in 2014, when The Little Blue Smokehouse emerged victorious. Went on the win the People’s Choice at the finals in Leeds – the year that Naughty Boy DJed. Can LBS do it again?

Wait – there’s more. This year, moving to the beach wasn’t quite enough of an ‘event’. As good as it sounds. So we called on Brighton’s Big Screen to lend a hand. What that means is the UK’s largest beachfront cinema will be running our selection of food films on a flippin’ massive (40 square foot, in technical terms) LED screen while you banquet away on some of the South East’s best street food. And vote for your winner to go to the finals of the British Street Food Awards — and, potentially — represent Britain in the inaugural European Street Food Awards. Film and food being a combo destined to catch on, don’t you know – Rick Stein’s at it with his ‘Sunset Cinema’. Great minds, eh?