06 | Sep | 16

Richard Johnson

Meet Your Hosts

For the first time this year, the British Street Food Festival comes from Birmingham.

Why? Because Birmingham’s food scene is quietly turning into the Next Big Thing, and we are delighted to have recruited the city’s finest to help us judge the 2016 British Street Food Awards (alongside Xanthe Clay and Simon Hulstone). There’s Brad Carter, Birmingham’s newest Michelin-starred chef, and the legendary Nathan Eades of the Michelin-starred Simpsons for high-end company. But how will they cope with the lack of silverware and a tablecloth? Their people assure us it won’t be an issue.

London has been the epicentre of street food for years. But Leeds has one heck of a scene. And don’t forget Bristol. But take it from us – there’s plenty of reasons to get excited about Birmingham. There’s Brum Yum Yum’s permanent street food market – the first of its kind in the city – and growing talent among the trader ranks, including Buddha Belly, Baked in Brick, Andy’s Low and Slow and The Meat Shack.

Then there’s local heroes Digbeth Dining Club. Right next to The Custard Factory – Birmingham’s equivalent of Shoreditch, with its hot-property railway arches, transformed industrial complexes, and street art – DDC have been throwing shindigs almost every weekend since 2012. Just like their surrounds, they’re rough, they’re young, and they’re exciting. And boy do they know how to throw a party.

It’s no coincidence, then, that DDC’s efforts bagged them Best Street Food Event at the BSF Awards in 2013 and 2014, only narrowly missing out on last year’s title to Cardiff’s Street Food Circus. It was only a matter of time before we lined them up to host a BSF final. And this year’s will be the best one yet, at that.

DDC have hosted the BSF Midlands heats a few times before, but nothing quite like this. Not with 18 of the UK’s traders descending on the city over two days. Still, they’ve shown off plenty of musical talent in the past – the kind we’ll be expecting – and know more than a few things on how to host a banquet on the street.

And they’ll love it as much as you will. Take it from them:

‘It is a real honour to be able to bring the Awards to the city,’ co-founder Jack Brabant told Visit Birmingham in the run up to this month’s final. ‘Hosting the Awards will firmly establish Birmingham as a great city for both events and eating out.’ Amen to that. Tickets here.