Over the years we’ve had some remarkable chefs judge the Scottish Street Food Awards. There was Dale Mailley from Gardener’s Cottage, Mark Greenaway from Grazing, Neil Forbes from Café St Honore, Scott Smith from Fhior and Ben Reade from Edinburgh Food Studio – chefs who brilliantly reflected the excitement surrounding Scottish food. And chefs who made it absolutely clear that, if they were starting out in hospitality now, they would be serving their food on the street.
Heading up the panel at the Scottish Street Food Awards at the Pitt this weekend (and only just fully recovered from judging duties in 2019) is Ailidh Forlan – food journalist, photographer and the author of Street Food Scotland. She’s also the writer behind the blog Plate Expectations. ‘I go weak at the knees for locally sourced simple ingredients handled with flair” says Ailidh. “Give me punchy flavours, gooey cheese atop of crispy carbs in the right proportions and moist slow cooked meats that you can cut with a spoon – that’s the way to my heart!’
Stuart Ralston, the chef/owner at Aizle and Noto restaurants, recently represented Scotland on The Great British Menu. Aizle has been recommended by the Michelin guide for six years, and Noto won a Michelin Bib Gourmand in the 2021 Michelin Guide – the only one given out in Scotland. “I was thrilled to be asked to be a judge as there is so much talent in the street food world” says Stuart. “I love street food, and regularly stop off while I am out to try something new. I am really looking forward to sampling some fantastic dishes.”
They’ll be sharing space at the table with a surprise judge (watch this space) and Campbell Mickel, who currently divides his time between his award-winning Stockbridge restaurant, Merienda, and his fishmonger, Eddie’s Seafood Market. He also caters private events with his company Exec Chef Cuisine. Having dedicated decades to his craft (who’s counting) Campbell is one of Scotland’s greatest ambassadors of food and drink, and is at his happiest when he’s cooking, eating or talking food. We’ve got just the job for you, Campbell. But maybe skip breakfast….