Food | For the Love of Food – Street Food Festival

Street food is where it’s at. It’s the most vibrant sector of the British food market, and it’s growing quick. For the Love of Food, a street food show like no other, has landed in Leeds. For this weekend only, traders will be cooking for your vote in The British Street Food Awards grand finale. Who will be crowned the Best of the Best award? You decide, and that’s why you need to make your way to Millennium Square this weekend.

A whole host of vendors are cooking for your vote, alongside food crazy golf, live street art and hip hop karaoke – you couldn’t want more from your weekend. Where to start? Well, that’s why In the Middle are here to help.

IMG_0553For something completely new, pay a visit to Nordic Street Food’s charming roadside kitchen. ‘Street food is new in Sweden – it started in Stockholm about 2 or three years ago’ explains owner, Pernilla, ‘it’s certainly new in the UK’. It’s true, their wholesome Nordic food available cannot be found anywhere in the UK, let alone on the street food scene. So, make sure you sink your teeth into their venison wrap, densely filled with a tender meat that is slow cooked for 16 hours, served with a tangy cabbage slaw and a generous handful of zesty juniper berries.

For an exciting twist on your average British vegetable, head over to Fresh Rootz. When on their travels around the world, they discovered a myriad of spices unused in cuisine back home. So, they brought these rich flavours back with them, and created delicious blends of home and away. As BBC Good Food show winners, they’ve obviously got something good going, and maybe they’ll win your vote this weekend.

Exploring the realm of East Asian cuisine through nothing but British produce are Dorshi. ‘Street food is great because you are getting your food from the person who had the idea,’ beams store holder, Bex, ‘you know nothing’s been frozen and that it’s all fresh’.  You won’t be able to resist the smells from their stall, that’s for sure.

IMG_0497Along for the ride, but not the awards, are the Real Junk Food Project, a pay-as-you-feel café. Intercepting edible food before it goes to landfill, this impressive enterprise is making some big steps in revolutionising our food system. ‘Everything we use is what would have gone to waste,’ explains an enthusiastic volunteer, ‘that goes for the food, the furniture in our cafes and even the plates we use’. With some seriously tasty smoothies on offer, I urge you to pay generously – it will feel right.

There are many, many more magnificent meals to be had at this phenomenal street food show, so plan the best means of attack. Break the endless cycle of mundane student meals, and get some street food down you.

Katie Dawtry

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