01 | Sep | 16

Hugh Thomas

The F Words

The big question of 2016 isn’t whether street food can be sustainable – it’s about how sustainable street food can be. Things have improved massively since 2012 (thanks, in part, to NCASS and the Sustainable Restaurant Association).

When we were thinking about environmentally responsible street food last year, we loved (and still love) what The Roadery were doing, with their nose-to-tail ox tongue British tacos, and pig cheek bun with foraged nettle pesto. The year before that, it was Wales and West champion, The Cauldron, who wooed with their dishes made from Devon-foraged herbs, veg and spices, and DIY butchery.

This time around, there’s a new kid on the block. And remember this name – The Fabulous Food Factory. As well as fighting a war on plastic, these folks grow their own fruit and veg, use locally reared Dexter beef, and donate all uneaten food to homeless shelters.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’ve ever felt that distinct air of guilt hanging about after shovelling down a steak burger, it’s safe to say you don’t quite get that with F3.

While we’re on the topic of burgers, let it be known that anyone can put one together, so when it’s your job assembling a group of traders to represent a region (or, in this case, Northern Ireland), you’d better make sure the trader’s doing something a bit different than the usual. And you’d better make sure they’re doing it well.

Paula McIntyre (last heard on The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4) is our guest judge in the Northern Ireland heats. And she’s mad keen on sustainability. And the public (who also have a say in the winner) love a good burger. Are the stars aligning? Good luck Fabulous Food Factory!