15 | Sep | 14

Richard Johnson

Love Leeds, Love Life


Every single trader chosen for the 2014 British Street Food Awards final can A) cook and B) party. Don’t know why, but we felt the need to spell that out as we picked Fresh Rootz as our next wild card. We’ve sung their praises before, and — with crisp pakoras kissed by the heavens — we will do so again. There’s a spirit about everything they do. When we needed a cool van/truck/trailer for a special guest to cook from, they were first to offer up their caravan. And they LOVE that caravan. Which is why WE love YOU Fresh Rootz. Oh, and your pakoras.

Name of van: The Shack

Description of van: Converted caravan with a rustic up cycle using scrap metals and wood from skips to reclamation yards to friends’ garages. It’s a thing of beauty.

What makes your food different?: Our ethos is to use british root vegetables and turn them into contemporary world fusion dishes inspired by travelling — and working with chefs from all over the world.

What difference would it make to you to win a British Street Food Award? It would really help propel ourselves forward and spread the word about great vegetarian street food: healthy, tasty and inspiring and plus we love being the centre of attention.

What got you into street food? Andrew came back from living in Columbia where he was doing street food energised with ideas. Martin had his own polytunnel and was growing organic vegetables at home. We decided to get cooking over an open fire and created a Thai style beetroot and coconut curry. It was then we had our Eureka moment.

What’s the best thing about street food? The best thing is the different varieties of food we get to taste on our travels and the connection to others like ourselves and people in general. We have met so many talented people over the years that we feel privileged to have met and learned from. One of our favourite and fondest places is Leeds. We recently went to Knarsborough, doing the Tour de France, and as we arrived The Shack just dropped to the floor. There was a moment of panic but within minutes the locals had come to our rescue bringing wood, drills etc to help prop it up. Just brilliant. Can’t wait to go back!