11 | Aug | 17

Hugh Thomas

Centre of Attention

It was only last year. But when GRUB turned their Food Fair into a weekly fixture at Manchester’s Alphabet Brewing Co it was a really big deal. It was a first for the city – a city that was home to Ginger’s Comfort Emporium — overall winners of the British Street Food Awards back in 2012 — and a city where street food has recently come on in leaps and bounds, with the likes of Nasi Lemak, Hip Hop Chip Shop, Otto-men, Blue Caribou Poutine, Well Hung, Dim Sum Su and Chaat Cart making a real noise. The Food Fair came along at just at the right time.

GRUB have now gone on to take up residency in the Mayfield buildings – once a train station, then a depot inhabited by the Royal Mail. It’s all part of a £850 million regeneration project to make the area live again. Look at this film — you’ll understand why we had to be involved.

So we’re partnering up with GRUB to bring the final of this year’s British Street Food Awards to the coolest venue in the coolest city. With the coolest DJs and the coolest traders. It will be the culmination of five blistering heats around the UK. And every single one of the finalists wants YOUR vote. Which is why we’re introducing our Mad Minute — a one-minute dash round the traders to try everything — before you decide which way to vote.

This isn’t our first Mancunian gig. In December 2016 we curated the street food menu for Winter Gathering at the Old Fire Station. We put together a roster of traders for the Manchester International Festival a few years before that. But the Mayfield Depot is something else. At GRUB’s new place, traders will fight tooth and latexed glove for your vote, which will send them through to the grand prize – a pitch at the European Street Food Awards, in Berlin, alongside the continent’s best. All eyes are on Manchester to showcase the best of British street food to the world. Who’s excited?