30 | May | 17

Hugh Thomas

Double Dutch

Image credit: Arnaud Banier

The Dutch Street Food Awards. Has a nice ring to it. And now, thanks to the hard work of Ralf and Bojan, who were counting the votes for OVER A DAY, we have our Dutch champions — and the first finalists in the inaugural European Street Food Awards. Well done to Good Cookies and Crepes Bubu. It all happened at Multiculinair, a very cool free festival in Groningen, near the border with Germany. And now it’s over to the rest of Europe, before the big final in Berlin at the end of September.

Street food is becoming a big deal in the Netherlands — thanks mainly to the work of the Rolling Kitchens. For a few days each year, scores of food trucks set up shop in a former gasworks complex in Westerpark. And they managed 125 this year. Big — but not as big as the Brussels Food Truck Festival. It’s only a few years old, but it attracted 140 food trucks in 2016 — and 150,000 visitors. Keep On Toasting (remember them competing for the Best Overseas Trader at the British Street Food Awards back in 2013?) were one of the first traders in the game when street food underwent a renaissance in Belgium a few years ago. Now, the croque-monsieur slingers are local heroes, and street food in Brussels is hotter than a plancha grill set to max. The Belgian Street Food Awards? Has a nice ring to it….