24 | Oct | 20

Richard Johnson

Do Judge Me

It takes a particular type of person to judge the British Street Food Awards supported by Hellmann’s. For a start, with 20 plates of food to taste in the heats (rising to 28 plates at the final), BSFA judging require a certain dedication to the job. A professionalism. And – quite literally – a hunger. We like to think that, this year, we’ve aced it. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our judges.

Judging on Saturday will be the award-winning journalist Sheila Dillon – the main presenter of the Food Programme on BBC Radio 4 since 2001. She is an icon in British food; a true democrat, who believes that good food belongs to the people – that’s why she has supported the street food movement right from the very beginning. We founded the British Street Food Awards back in 2010, and it didn’t take long for the Food Programme to run a serious study of the street food movement and its future.

“Street food thrills me” says Sheila, “because it’s where I find the most imaginative, sparky, heartfelt (and modestly priced) dishes…cooked by people still experimenting, not yet held back by mortgages, menus and kitchen brigades. I love the sense that I’m discovering today what the food reviewing world will be lauding tomorrow.”

On Sunday, judging duties pass to Ed Cooke, head chef at the Fat Duck in Bray. Not only has The Fat Duck been named as The World’s Best Restaurant, it’s also been ranked number two five times. Ed started working for Rick Stein at The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, and moved to The Fat Duck as Chef de Partie in 2010, becoming head chef in 2016. He’s retained the Duck’s three Michelin stars, whilst preserving its reputation as one of the most influential restaurants in the world. What a man.

Richard Johnson, founder of the British Street Food Awards, will be there to hand out the cutlery as the judges decide on Best Vegan, Best Sandwich, Best Main Dish, Best Burger, Best Snack and Best Dessert – AND the Best of the Best. The public will be voting on People’s Choice, with Awards for Best Looking (running as a poll on social media), Most Sustainable sponsored by Hellmann’s (decided in collaboration with the Sustainable Restaurant Association) and Best Newcomer sponsored by SumUp. So there’s a lot at stake. Everything will be announced live in Market Place on Sunday at 5-6pm – and on our social media accounts.