16 | Apr | 12

Richard Johnson

Empire State Of Mind

This story doesn’t get any less embarrassing to tell. But I still need to tell it. It was a summer lunchtime – in a New York park – and Marco Pierre White and I were hungover from a night of Sambuca at Jay-Z’s party.

See what I mean? Embarrassing. Anyway. Sat on the grass, and eating a street-vendor’s burger slathered with ketchup, we wondered why we weren’t offering the same thing in Britain. I decided, then and there, that I would do something about the state of British street food. Once I had ordered another burger.

New York is where it all started for me. And that’s why I had this crazy dream. That one day the best British Street Food traders would pack up their vans, trucks and trikes, and embark upon a five-day Atlantic crossing to challenge the Americans on their own turf. The battle (of different cuisines, styles and cultures) would be against the winners of the Vendys, New York’s own Street Food Awards. And it would really matter. It still gets me the way Americans think we eat roast beef every day.

Well, I should be careful what I wish for. Because it’s only gone and happened. I must have been talking in my sleep – and the nice lady from CNN must have crept in with her tape recorder. And this is the result.

Now I’m just going to have to make it happen………So, if you fancy sponsoring the thing, or want to help row a very big boat, please let someone in the office know.