Picture: James White Photography
What is it about the South heats? In 2018, the winner at Gunwharf Quay’s – Jah Jyot from Sussex – went on to the national finals in London, and the European finals in Berlin, where they only went on to WIN THE WHOLE DARN THING. And after doing brilliantly at the South heats, Bubble& went on to secure investment from Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar on the BBC’s My Million Pound Menu. In 2019, it threw up the British Street Food Awards champion once again – Pabellon. So who is going to change the world after winning big in Portsmouth THIS year? With Michelin-starred chef Jon Marsden-Jones, formerly of the Black Rat, plus Andrew Du Bourg, chef/proprietor of The Elderflower as our judges, plus YOU voting for the People’s Choice, this will be one heck of a Bank Holiday weekend.
With the Bootlegger Bus, running our bar from an old US school bus, all you need to do is work your way round our amazing roster of traders:
Mr Pig Stuff
Taking good food to porkalicious heights. Their words, not ours. But this company of chefs will be sure to compete with a truly diverse menu, whether it’s Greek-inspired pork roll with tzatziki, haloumi and onion or a bacon quesadilla. Currently crowdfunding for their first truck.
Kodawari was born during lockdown, and the team have adapted well to the changing restrictions – offering everything from nationwide meal kits to takeaway and local delivery. But James, the boss, is delighted to FINALLY be able to serve customers face to face. “Our plans are to continue in our residency kitchen and our street food truck, build the teams and train them, acquire more staff and potentially have another location” he says.
Kara cooks her paella out of a quirky street food stall made from old cutlery and reclaimed wood from a 1950s pub. All of her ingredients are locally sourced from one-man band stallholders – such as her fishmonger in Doncaster market. She buys the best chorizo, with a good fat content, in raw links. All her sauces are homemade and she uses the finest paprika and smoked salt from Spain. Plus – most important for paella – KARA SAYS NO TO HOT HOLDING. So her paella is always fresh. You might have to wait. But it’s worth it.
Eat The Farm
They have already won a British Street Food Award for Best Burger. Like that wasn’t enough.
These guys use rare breed dry aged beef and award-winning cheeses from Kent, and sling smash burgers out of their vintage VW Campers at street food events, markets, music festivals, sporting events, people’s houses. In fact, if there’s somewhere they can park, they’ll fire up that griddle. Gunwharf Quays was too good an opportunity to miss.
Serving authentic Thai flavours to hungry mouths and rumbling bellies using recipes passed down from previous generations. Their curry, tofu, and satay dishes are served up in traditional and unique ways on a bed of rice, wrapped, or with a salad.
Small gazebo, big ideas. This pop-up stand from Bath – a finalist in Million Pound Menu – offers Cajun chicken, chili, salad & seasoned fries with various sauce options. And a hug?
Da Fish Ting
Da Fish Ting is an iconic seafood street kitchen from London – and one of our finalists up for Most Sustainable. Serving soft shell crabs & fish burgers in charcoal brioche buns, the best gluten free fish & chips, and the “DFT Signature” buttermilk cod fingers, they light up markets south of the river.
With a menu of dirty fries and loaded dogs, this local crew are best approached in loose trousers. Save space for a freak shake before you head home…
The Social Dough
On a lockdown day with nothing to do, The Social Dough taught themselves how to master the art of Neapolitan pizza through YouTube. Then they got thinking, with everyone stuck inside wouldn’t it be cool if they could take a pizza oven to people’s driveways and cook them pizza? Get ready Gunwharf – they are talking about YOU.
Turo Turo (London)
It’s been Rex’s mission to popularize Filipino cuisine in London since 2014. He has run pop-up restaurants, worked with the Philippine embassy, and gone on a 3-month culinary tour of the Philippines – but street food is how he’s going to take those Filipino flavour profiles (Sour, Salty and Sweet) to the people. Signature dish? His Filipino Grilled Chicken “Inasal” – a vinegar-marinated boneless chicken thigh, lemongrass and vinegar butter glaze, pickled carrot “atchara” and steamed jasmine rice. Plus a show-stealing meatless menu that won him the Best Vegetarian at the 2019 British Street Food Awards.
This finalist from the 2018 and 2019 British Street Food Awards, serving authentic Korean, wants to go one better this year – and actually win The Big One. In the next 5 years chef Steve wants to have stalls in Australia working the winter months so he can base himself in the UK for the summer. “Plus I still have ambitions to be the UK’s first Michelin star street food”. Get him.
Carne no Carvao
Valdeni is a Brazilian BBQ chef who aims to introduce the UK to the traditional Brazilian BBQ, where the chunks of meat are cooked on skewers over a charcoal BBQ. He built his own setup out of wooden pallets. Well, wooden pallets PLUS blood, sweat and tears.