23 | Jul | 18

Richard Johnson

Dock ‘n’ Roll Stars

It’s never JUST about the street food when we bring the Awards to Leeds. We’ve run Trinity Kitchen, the city’s street food mall in the sky, since it opened five years ago so the place always has a place in our hearts. And we always try to bring something a bit special — and Leeds Dock is certainly that. It’s a great space, and we parked up the 20 best traders in the North alongside some AMAZING dragon boat racing AND a dog show from Close to the Bone PLUS Leeds’ Strongest Person from Primal Gym AND sets from the finest DJs in the North. But the food was the star. Especially the fresh, yeasty doughnuts from Doh’hut, who won the Judges’ vote, and the experimental Kor-Indian cuisine from Ruby’s Street Kitchen, who won the People’s vote. Both now go to London to compete at the final of the British Street Food Awards and, possibly, go on to represent Britain at the finals of the European Street Food Awards in Berlin.

Gaynor Faye, best known for playing Judy Mallett in Coronation Street and Megan Macey in Emmerdale, was our most experienced judge. She has judged the British Street Food Awards twice already. That’s three times in four years. So it was a surprise (a nice one, mind) to welcome her back to judge the Northern heats with the legendary Jamie Clinton from Shears Yard and food stylist Tom Cockerill. Final member of our judging panel? Neil Janney, Training Manager at Stew & Oyster Boston Spa, located all across Yorkshire, delivering quality fresh food and drinks alongside a friendly service. “We look to create amazing experiences for our guests, being at the heart of the communities we serve and being regarded as a fundamental part of the places where they work and live.” With Ganyor’s family there to offer her moral support (and eat the leftovers) this was always going to be a tough panel to win over.

As you can see from the Facebook event page, it was the biggest and best lineup of traders we’ve ever hosted. So you can be SURE that there will be more than just Doh’hut and Ruby’s Street Kitchen invited to London. The wild cards will be announced soon….but which of these beauties should alsop be there, representing the North?

Steak Out
The great Yorkshire steak sandwich from Leeds’ own Steak Out crew is something to salivate over. The 28 day-beef is sourced locally from Sykes House Farm, with toasted brioche rolls from Gilchrist Bakers in Leeds, and a choice of toppings — from The Texan to The Eiffel and The Monster! All available with crispy skin-on seasoned fries! Can’t choose? For the Awards weekend only why not try three of your favourites as sliders?

Manjit Kaur, street food legend, has grown her bright yellow horsebox into a bricks and mortar lunch spot within Leeds Kirkgate Market. But the horsebox is still rolling strong. She’s convinced…wait for this…that one day the lentil will be Queen. “I have on the back burner a new dosa menu and a small plate menu which will raise the lentil (some grown here in the UK) up the street food hall of fame” she says. Rice and lentil croquettes she says. Dhals and sliders. So will the No.1 chaat station go vegan for BSFA 2018?

Parm Star
The parmo, (or ‘Teesside Parmesan’ if you’re a Times reader) is, officially, The Next Big Thing. The breaded cutlet which originated in the North East of England is an adaptation of the classic chicken parm, with béchamel sauce instead of the classic marinara – and, now, it’s lighting up the 2018 British Street Food Awards.

“We’ve had some problems along the way” says founder Lisa Cheung. “Like leaving the cash drawer at home and going into Tesco to blag change off them in exchange for free food. And like John spilling 10 litres of cooking oil on the floor in the middle of our gazebo during service at a busy festival.” Selling parmos to hungry street foodies with votes in their hands at the BSFA heats? A walk in the park.

Goody Gujarati
It’s a marriage made in heaven: Dharmi’s heritage is British-born Gujarati and Matt is Australian-born Sri Lankan. Together, the couple have spent many years back and front of house, working at some fantastic restaurants. “And it was just time to do our thing”. They are intent on sharing the colourful cuisine of Gujarat, making all their own sauces and milling all their own spices. “We found this beautiful little caravan — a 1956 Eccles MKII Bounty — and after three long years renovating her with the help of some wonderfully talented people, we were all set.” Get ready Leeds!

Let’s Go Wild Boar
It was one of those chance meetings — at a beer festival with a wild boar farmer from Cheshire. Chris Gowans, who is forever coming up with street food concepts, asked for some samples, which he duly minced and pressed into burgers. “They were amazing” Chris remembers. “Like no other on the festival circuit. But we wanted to present boar as on-trend rather than old fashioned, so enlisted local graffiti artists at Entrepreneurs to provide our stall design. And Let’s Go Wild Boar was born.”

Little Red Food Truck
From the team behind Sela – who are a Leeds institution – Little Red is cooking up a full deli menu this year. Watch out for their sublime meatballs. All served from one of the cutest trucks in the business. Set to win big this year?

Ruby’s Street Kitchen
Ruby’s heavily personalised take on the street food of Mumbai is one of the freshest interpretations out there. Better still, they’re among the friendliest crew you’ll ever meet. ‘To be honest we don’t like long hectic food lines,’ says Ruby’s founder Ifty Patel. ‘We get so sad that we can’t spend enough time with each customer.’

Tikk’s Thai
Born on the paradise white island of Koh Samui in Southern Thailand, the young Tikk loved nothing more than helping out in the family restaurant kitchen, preparing the food and learning traditional techniques along the way.
After school, Tikk set out to work in his cousin’s beach resort, cooking (of course) and catching fish on the family boat. He has long since left the turquoise waters of Thailand behind, but he’s still obsessive about locally-sourced ingredients.
After meeting his English wife Nikki (although for PR purposes they answer to Tikk and Nikk), the couple settled in Yorkshire, and since 2013 have been running “Tikk’s Thai Fridays” — a home-cooked take away experience like no other!
Tikk felt 2017 was the right time to enter the BSFA having spent the last 12 months perfecting recipes, gaining amazing feedback along the way. Will 2018 be the year he goes all the way?

Dilla Deli
Dilla Deli serve quesadillas with fillings from around the world – with sides of salads and nachos. The classic Smoky Mexican quesadilla with pulled Yorkshire chicken, homemade refried beans, chargrilled peppers, tomatoes, coriander, jalapenos, mozzarella and cheddar has got to be the judges’ favourite.

Baking Biker
The stuff The Baking Biker comes up with is just plain filthy. During Mr and Mrs Baking Biker’s Leeds Trinity Kitchen pitch, they revealed the Creme Scotch Egg – boulder-like clumps of chocolate encasing a Cadbury Creme Egg, looking a bit like a deftly poached hen’s egg. People flocked from Nottingham just to try it. Then they created the ‘Nutter Butter’ cookie dough ice cream with Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter, and chocolate. Word is it’s a special invention ahead of the Awards at Leeds Dock this weekend. Watch out.

Little Bao Boy
Think rows of bamboo steamers, sitting on large wok burners — each one packed with freshly-made Chinese buns. Nice. But with fillings like these (belly pork with cucumber, spring onion and siracha sauce; pulled chicken with toasted sesame seeds, spring onion and a hoi sin glaze; pan-fried shitake mushroom and fresh vegetables) you better be prepared to queue.

Wagyu Lookin’ At
Wagyu is known for beautiful marbling which renders at low temperatures to give outstanding texture and flavour. ‘Wagyu’ is actually a generic name meaning Wa (Japanese) and Gyu (beef). The animals are massaged and their diet augmented with beer. A surprise then to find Suzi and Paul from Yorkshire’s Pickled Porker giving Wagyu a go.
“We came across Yorkshire Wagyu some years back” says Suzi, “when it wasn’t as well known in this country. Yorkshire and proud, we have always been interested in sourcing unusual and outstanding Yorkshire produce to showcase on our menus, so we arranged a trip to meet Wagyu farmer Shep to learn more about what set his meat apart from the rest.”
The pair were impressed by the high welfare standards at Wagyu Farms. “Plus” says Suzi, “we learned that Shep’s animals are bred for up to 30 months — much longer than other beef cattle.” It gives the meat deeper flavour, and it’s why they’re bring their product to the Northern heats of the 2018 British Street Food Awards at Leeds Dock in June. They are worrying the opposition.

Gourmet donuts? Plain or with one of four fillings — raspberry jam/vanilla bean custard/chocolate ganache/soft serve ice cream? Fully customisable with sauces and toppings? Need to know any more? Well, all the dough and fillings from this Leeds start-up are made by hand the night before service, fried off early morning and filled just before service. If you should need any MORE reasons to visit Doh’hut, they’ll be debuting their funnel fries at the Awards. Google it!

Mr D’s Magnificent Pie Machine
Mr D is looking forward to bringing his Pie Machine to Leeds Dock. And what a machine it is — think Steampunk meets Willy Wonka and Wallace & Gromit. Mr D is always keen to offer samples to the curious. But one occasion, a lady muscled in on a tasting session, grabbed the sample on offer and just shoved it straight into her mouth. “I offered the steak pie to the remaining samplers” remembers Mr D, “stating what it was. The sample bandit immediately spat it out, in a dramatic and somewhat un-lady like fashion. It transpired something was lost in her translation of Yorkshire and thought I was selling… SNAKE pie.”

Pizza Loco
There is pizza (the pizza you order on a Friday when you’re too tired to cook or pick up out of your supermarket’s freezer) and then there’s pizza. The real stuff, out of a wood-fired oven, served with a bottle of something cold, overlooking the Bay of Naples. Oh, and then there’s the kind of pizza that comes out of a steam train. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Pizza Loco. From Leeds. Italian on the bottom, Yorkshire on’t top.

Gondola Raclette
Be individual. Be bold. And sell your personality with your food. That’s what we advise prospective traders — and glad to see someone was listening. It’s what got Gondola Raclette onto the telly — with a C4 series presented by Michel Roux Jr. The idea of using a skiing gondola as a vehicle for selling melted cheese clearly grabbed the commissioning editor’s attention. And ours. Let’s hope you all love melted cheese as much as we do.

Libertine Burger
Burger is life for Charles, a trained chef from Leamington Spa. So much so that he flew to New York almost entirely just to sample April Bloomfield’s Salvation Burger. If you were wondering, he says yes, it was worth it. Thankfully for hungry punters, all this quest for knowledge in what’s good translates to Liberty’s menu. Take your everyday burger, but crank the volume up to 10 – 21-day dry aged beef patties from grass fed cows, with crisp smoked bacon, frickles (deep fried pickles, that is), and their signature hot sauce.

Based in Manchester, Tigellae are the only food truck in the UK serving up the full Italian restaurant experience on the road. With the help of their custom-made food truck, known as The Vanstaurant, they’ve taken their brand of cooking to people across the north of England since 2014. “Over the years we’ve developed our very own artisan pasta using a blend of Italian flours and only natural ingredients” says Laura Poole. “The pasta is bronze-die, crafted in small batches and then dried at low temperatures to preserve the natural flavours and colours. We have also perfected a selection of home-cured meats, including honey-glazed pork loin and silverside beef carpaccio, which we serve on platters or on homemade bread, plus some very special desserts including chocolate salami and delicious tiramisu in all kinds of flavours. “We are not another run-of-the-mill pizza truck.”

Soul Shack
Soul Shack are all about authenticity — a zinc-roofed shack, built specially for the Awards, where they cook in car rims, on oil drums or over a fire pit. Soul Shack specialise in cooking jerk, whether it be whole chickens, guava glazed pork shoulder or jerk sausage — smoked the authentic way over Jamaican pimento wood and charcoal. “When people eat with us” says Chief Jerk Tim Longden, “I want them to have an experience. I want them to not only leave with a full belly and with some change in their pocket but I want them to have learnt something about Jamaican food and culture.”

The Crepe Escape
Crepes….done to perfection. With soft serve ice cream and waffles and sauce and toppings and and and…a lot of very happy children.