Something is changing on Britain’s streets – the food. As Trinity Kitchen celebrates its first birthday and Leeds hosts the British Street Food awards, Catherine Scott finds out what all the fuss is about.
Street food used to suggest either something dodgy from a van as you stagger out of a nightclub, or a mysterious concoction bubbling away on an Asian pavement
Well, British street food 2014 is neither of these. It is the fastest growing eating trend in the UK and beyond, as people are increasingly time and cash-poor and in search of something more exciting than a soggy sandwich for lunch.
And Leeds is at the forefront of the movement which is revolutionizing the way we cook and eat food.
In testimony to this the City has been chosen to host the fifth British Street Food Awards next week. (September 26 – 28).
The man behind the awards is journalist and food writer Richard Johnson, who was involved with creating the boundary-pushing Trinity Kitchen.
“My relationship with Leeds started some years ago when I had a conversation with Land Securities who own Trinity Leeds,” explains Johnson.
“They wanted to put street food onto the first floor of a building. I thought they were mad.”
According to Paul Smith, Trinity Leeds Marketing Manager, he wasn’t alone.
“There was a time during the development of Trinity Leeds that we had to stop for a while. It was worrying at time, but actually it gave us the opportunity to sit down and decide exactly what we wanted to do. There were lots of meetings where people were just invited to come up with ideas, no matter how outlandish.”
It was at one of these meetings that someone suggested lifting street food wagons, vans, carts, sheds and trucks up onto the first floor of Trinity Leeds. Five vendors would spend a month in Trinity Kitchen and then the whole process of lifting the wagons into place would be reversed and another five street food.