31 | Aug | 21

Richard Johnson

Day Of Judgement

It’s nearly D Day. The BBC are busy shouting about the grand finals at Freedom Festival. And now we’re ready to announce our judging panel. It takes a particular type of person to judge the British Street Food Awards. For a start, it helps to be hungry. With 24 signature dishes to taste at the finals (September 3-5 at the Freedom Festival in Hull – entry here), our judges require a certain dedication. But the job also requires a critical distance – an ability to judge a juicy, two-fisted burger as even-handedly as a sticky toffee pudding. With this thoroughly Yorkshire line-up, we think we’ve got the dream team.

Originally from God’s own county, chef Shaun Rankin has worked in restaurants all over the world – from Chicago to Darlington. He opened Bohemia, his first restaurant as Head Chef, in 2003, and gained a Michelin star two years later. In 2013, Shaun opened the much-awaited Ormer in Jersey, winning a star after only four months. Can you see the pattern? After returning to Yorkshire in 2017, Shaun became Chef Patron of Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall. The restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in January 2021.

Tara Harris is the co-founder of the Yorkshire Food Guide with experience working in the hospitality and events industry after running her own mobile bar. Spotting a gap in the market to showcase the incredible independent businesses throughout the region, the Yorkshire Food Guide is now the biggest northern foodie website. When Tara isn’t running the business, you can find her keeping fit to work off the extra pounds from hand-picking the latest restaurants to feature on the website.

Danny Malin, who lives in Leeds, is an internet sensation. He travels round the country with his own picnic table making videos for the Rate My Takeaway YouTube channel – and he’s busily going viral. The channel now has over 700,000 subscribers and he’s accumulated over 100 million views. “The strange thing is people coming up to me, asking for selfies and stuff like that, because as far as I’m concerned” says Danny, “I’m just this fat guy eating a kebab.”

Danny is big in Hull. But so is Mose Masoe. Born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1989, Mose established himself as a top Rugby League star in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and won the Super League with St Helens. However, in January 2020, the Samoan international suffered a career-ending spinal injury. The Hull KR head coach Tony Smith said that if Mose was able to walk again, that would be judged a success. In September 2020, during his rehabilitation, Mose was able to first take his first unaided steps.

The only judge left is David Burns – Or Burnsy. Burnsy never mentions it (ha ha) but he’s a multi award-winning broadcaster. Actually he does often mention it on his (Radio Academy award-winning) morning show on BBC Radio Humberside – along with his love of street food. By his own admission, pictorial evidence suggests he loves it quite a lot. He says he’d far rather eat good street food than go for a sit down in a fancy-dan restaurant. With the judging job at the British Street Food Awards, his dreams are coming true.