In a sunny Suffolk field, Cafe Mor were voted the overall winners of the 2011 British Street Food Awards, with their hand-made flatbreads, stuffed with seafood foraged from the Pembrokeshire shore.
The Café will now be allowed to take their beach shack to the London 2012 Olympics, where they will serve up their food to the best athletes in the world. As part of the prize, they will also be meeting up with Marks and Spencer for some high-end business advice.
In the Best Dish category, there were joint winners. Street Kitchen served up a slow-roast pork shoulder with coleslaw, pickled apples and mustard dressing, while Wholefood Heaven served up a Buddha Bowl, which was a deft fusion of pan-Asian flavours. It was all restaurant quality food, served on the street. The British Street Food revolution has finally came of age.……
The Awards, judged by food experts including Antony Worrall Thompson and Fay Ripley, were more hotly contested than ever. The Fish Hut (with its own seagulls and sandpit) offered up the perfect fish and chips – served out of a pretty little Southwould beach hut. And The Laughing Stock brought the family recipe for salt beef.
Lulabelle, the deliciously pink VW camper van from Yorkshire, brought tea and cakes. But the competition from the new boys and girls was tough.
Ginger’s Comfort Emporium from Manchester, for instance, was quite a looker. The lovely old ice cream van won fans with its toast and marmalade ice cream, as they tried to continue the tradition started by Kitty Travers and La Grotta Ices, who won Best of the Best in last year’s Finals.
Chilli Gone Barmy was quite a looker too, trading out of a vintage Splittie. Brian, the chilli man, would have won the Award for Best Name. If there was one.
Jun and Mark were happy to escape the London restaurant scene to serve up some high-end street food in Street Kitchen’s beautiful Airstream trailer. There’s something about the trailer’s aluminum, rust-proof skin. Its clean, sleek lines lent it a look of the past – and the future. Its monocoque body shell still turns heads, 75 years after its first launched. President Kennedy used one as a mobile office. The Airstream comes with a pedigree. That’s why Street Kitchen chose it.
David, of the terribly stylish Wholefood Heaven, has worked at top London restaurants including Vong, Saf and E&O alongside chefs such as Jean Georges Vongerichten and Simon Treadway. So, think wholegrains, with totally unprocessed ingredients, when you’re imagining his vegetarian cookery. Not baked potatoes with cheese on top. This Is the British Street Food Awards — get with the programme.
In many ways, crepes are the perfect street food. And ordering from mobilers (especially ones as charming as Paul from Lemon Jelli) is much less awkward than having a waiter make crepes at your table. They can’t be made in advance for a large group of people. They must be created, one by one, and eaten immediately to retain their essential crepeness. Which means that the eating must be done in the same location as the cooking. And there aren’t many better locations than the food field at Jimmy’s…
It was the same story over at Churros Bros, who were competing in the Best Snack category. George and Rachel’s crisp fingers of batter, served with a pot of rich dark chocolate, have to be enjoyed straight away. Leave them standing around for a few minutes and they will be chewier than old shoe leather. It’s hypothetical of course – no-one has ever left a pot of churros from Churros Bros around for a few minutes to find out.
Pizza is another classic street food. Although street pizza is very different from the pizzeria pizza. Unlike the 12” rounds you find in a restaurant, “pizza a taglio” is generally made on large square trays, and sold by the rectangle. It’s easy to hold, and leaves you one hand free to steer your Vespa. Jalopy cook their pizzas in an authentic Ephrem wood fired oven, and taste as good as anything you’ll eat in the South of France.
The Flying Ducks parked up their jaw-dropping 12ft of loveliness — a 1959 Carlight Casetta caravan. They entered the Best Snack category in this year’s British Street Food Awards, with the tried-and-tested fish finger sandwich. But, after much consideration, they decided to go upmarket with a homemade cottage pie with tobasco called the Raging Bull and – their very own invention – a Stumble Crumble. The rhubarb was soaked in gin. The judges were delighted at this last minute change of direction…..
Angus Dunoon trundled up with his theatrical Kolkata Street Food Experience. His jhal muri – the snack that you find on every street corner of Kolkata – is the stuff of legend. It’s the snack you can eat between meals, with drinks, or with family. “Or slowly slowly, with your love,” says Angus, “because everybody love love the jhal muri. I don’t mind about winning the Street Food Awards – I just want people to love my jhal muri.” And they did..they did.
The final winners were as follows:
BEST OF THE BEST
Café Mor – La Bomba
BEST LOOKING MOBILER
BEST MAIN DISH (Joint Winners)
Sponsored by Trinity Leeds
Street Kitchen – Slow roast pork shoulder with coleslaw, pickled apples and mustard dressing
Wholefood Heaven – Buddha Bowl
Salt Beef Sandwich
Ginger’s Comfort Emporium
This Monkey’s Gone To Heaven
The full list of finalists and their entries is as follows:
Halls Dorset Smokery — Salmon Wrap — a 10-inch wrap stuffed full with hot-smoked Scottish salmon (smoked on site at Jimmy’s), salad and a home-made lemon mayonnaise.
Café Mor — Hot SeaShore Wrap, with a flat bread dough filled with Welsh Bacon, Gower cockles and laverbread topped with egg and cream.
Laughing Stock – Scottish Salt Beef and pickles.
Chilli Gone Barmy — Sutton Hoo Chicken Fajita with home-made guacamole and sour cream seved on a bed of lettuce with home-made sweetcorn relish and salsa.
Jalopy Pizza – Puttanesca Pizza with capers, olives and anchovies.
Kolkata Street Food Experience – Jhal Muri. Puffed rice with roasted dal and peanut, crisp noodles, potato, cucumber, tomato, bean sprouts, onion, ginger, black salt, special masala, coconut, green mango, tamarind sauce, mustard oil, fresh coriander and lime.
Lemon Jelli – Crepes stuffed with Quickes cheddar and sauteed garlic mushrooms.
Lulabelles – Chocolate Guinness (half pudding, half cake).
Churros Bros – Churros and chocolate.
Ginger’s Comfort Emporium — “This Monkey’s Gone To Heaven” — roast banana, salt caramel and peanut ice cream, served in hot toasted brioche.
Flying Ducks – Stumble Crumble – a crumble of rhubarb soaked in gin and seasonal soft fruits, served with thick double cream in the middle.
Kolkata Street Food Experience – Benglai chai – no milk or tea, just spices, palm sugar and yellow lime.
Café Mor – La Bomba, a shot of tomatoes, lime, honey, olive oil, tabasco, whizzed up and served with a topping of dried sea grass and shellfish.
Ginger’s Comfort Emporium — Rhubarb ice-cream in ginger beer.
BEST MAIN DISH (sponsored by Trinity Leeds)
Wholefood Heaven – ‘Buddha Bowl’ — Massaman curry with new potato, pineapple, peanut and tofu, curly kale with Himalayan pink salt, kimchee and grated carrot pickle and organic omega sprinkle on a bed of organic shortgrain brown rice. Grilled halloumi is an optional extra.
Fish Hut – Fish and chips with minted mushy peas.
Street Kitchen – Slow-roast pork shoulder with coleslaw, pickled apples and mustard dressing.
Flying Ducks – Raging Bull Pies — Cottage pie, with a splash of Tabasco sauce.