Tag Archives: Goals


23 Jun

A couple of months ago, the brilliant Regeneration Officer at Hackney put me in touch with the manager at Fifteen. “They want to put a street party on and they need help with the food traders”, I was told. An introductory meeting later at Fifteen and Jacques and I were all fired up and setting a date. The theme would be Fifteen’s 10th Birthdays Celebrations and the focus would be on Fifteen Family and local-to-the-East End eat.st traders.

We would close the street – Westland Place – outside Fifteen and fill it with 10 of our best East End slingers, music, kids entertainment, a bar and stalls from Fifteen, Fifteen Cornwall and Barbecoa, as well as the massive truck that is The Cock & Cider. Now the big day is only one week away and we’re all set – FUN and great food are the focus and everyone is invited!

Our traders are: Red Herring Smokehouse, The Rib Man, Banh Mi 11, The Bowler, Mussel Men, Healthy Yummies, Big Apple Hot Dogs, Toma Mexicano, Yum Bun and Westonbirt Ice Cream. I get dizzy thinking about the levels of deliciousness in that group. They’re there all day though, so chances are you’ll be able to get around a few…

Think of it – smoked chicken, moules-frites, pan-seared scallops, Mexican flautas, gourmet meatballs, pillow-soft steamed buns, banh mi, real hot dogs, hot smoked ribs and incredible ice cream + cupcakes from Crumbs & Doilies!

This is the first time that eat.st has collaborated with a restaurant –  and a group of them at that. It was actually through meeting a load of the chefs from Barbecoa one night at Street Feast that I had a change of heart re. my previous reservations about ‘getting into bed with the restaurants’. They were all so excited about the delights that abounded from some of our traders, there on the night. I have always been a bit wary of why some of the big, established restaurants wanted to get involved with the streets – thinking of them as one mass of bandwagon jumpers who would be onto the next thing as soon as something else caught their eye.

Then I checked my attitude and noticed how fired-up so many chefs were about the prospect, through getting involved with the streets, of actually seeing who was eating their food and having the satisfaction of seeing their enjoyment. Like Bea (of Bloomsbury) said to me recently “You have to really love what you do to be a chef because there are some serious downsides”. And I thought about why I have thrown myself so hard into this industry – it’s because of two things really: The pulling together of great, like-minded people to serve food on our streets – critical mass making more headway than scattered individuals; and the quest to transform our outdoor spaces and bring strangers together through the attraction of great, accessible food. My stance now is that whoever has that lust for the above is who we should be embracing – from the hardcore traders who live and breath the culture of the streets, to the career-changers who want to do something they can touch, taste and feel, to any amazing chef out there who wants to be part of a whole new side of what they love.

When we have all of this food, all of these people, and anyone else who likes to collaborate on shared space – from all parts of the food world, making great things happen – then we know that the British food culture is well on its way to a new evolution, and it fires us up!

The #fifteeneatstreetparty will run from 11am-5pm next Saturday 30th June – Westland Place, N1 7LP (Just near to Old Street)

Come hungry and ready for fun.

There will be pasta-making classes upstairs.

Jamie will be there too….

Bring all the food fans you know!


New Year, new plans…

28 Jan

Hello y’all. Lots of exciting things in the offing from eat.st. We have some new recruits waiting in the wings for a full promenade along the eat.st site – pulled pork and wholefoods and fresh pretzels and a mobile smokery…. Looking forward to hitting you with them.

First, we are going to be re-jigging the site so it suits our future plans. More of this as it unfolds.

And we’d really like to hear from YOU about what kinds of food you’d like to see available on the streets. People are always getting in touch with us about starting new mobile ventures, lots of ideas out there – it’s the putting it into practice bit that is the struggle. We will continue to help in any way we can – and this includes being able to offer advice about what the market wants. Personally – and this is a juicy little nugget for anyone who so wishes to scoop it up – I think there is a gap in the market for someone offering an egg-based menu: omelettes, waffles, custard, french toast/eggy bread, fried egg sandwiches, creme caramel…you get the picture. Who’s up for that?!

In the meantime – and if you haven’t already been – then make a bee-line for wor Yianni’s new ‘chop-up’ dive bar/burger joint the Meateasy in New Cross Gate. The whole of the burger eating population of London are in a state of reverie and panic – reverie at having sampled meat heaven in a low down and dirty, straight-up kind of way; panic at maybe not getting to sample it before it closes in mid-March. And it’s packed. Every night – so arrive EARLY (doors open at 6pm. Cocktails are amazing). Evening Standard write-up here.

Also, the legendary and true authentic, eccentric street hawker, Angus (AKA Mongo Denoon) will be sharing his food, film and music this Sunday and Monday back at the Whirled Cinema – an underground film space nestled into one of glamorous Loughborough Junction’s infinite arches. If you haven’t heard of him then Angus plays spices like butter plays toast. It rolls, effortlessly. You watch and are entranced, then taste and are transformed. This is passion and expertise passed alchemically through Angus’ magic touch. You won’t taste better: Jhal Muri, pulchas, channa masala, daal, bhel puri. And if you enjoy eating, India and energy then the focal point of this whole event, the film, is where you need to be heading.

Sold out on Sunday but still a few spaces for Monday if you’re quick. Info here.

More soon. Keep chowing!

Flying our flag…

2 Nov

Roll up!

7 Feb

Hi food van fans,

Welcome to eat.st‘s blog – a land where food roams free on wheels of steel…or under a choice gazebo. Or maybe just a make-shift canopy. Whatever the appearance (and we like to think of ourselves as being a fine looking bunch of stalls), we are here to promote and encourage the new wave of mobile food traders in Britain.

Long mired in the murky reputation of dubious kebab trailers and suspect ice cream vans, food on our streets is stepping up the pace. Our high-end restaurants are great and have managed to convince the world that Britain’s food culture is on fire – and it’s true, it is…for the small number of us who can afford it. But what about the other 95% of us? We at eat.st see salvation as lying at street level. Put better food on the streets and in more places and suddenly what we’re dealing with is a food culture that is good across the board.

Accessible to all, non-exclusive and offered through a medium that we’ve been accustomed to since the beginning of time.

We have been in the mobile food game for the last four years. It is an industry full of great characters, interesting lifestyles and food prepared in all kinds of locations. It’s hard work, bad weather forever looms and finding good places to sell our wares can be challenging. But there is a vitality and good humour amongst traders and with our customers that deserves to be acknowledged.

eat.st wants to drive British street food forward – through a consolidated trader community, with a defined standard of quality adhered to by all our members and by seeking out new and exciting ways to do what we do at events, markets, festivals and beyond.

The dialogue begins here and we welcome any advice or contributions from traders, punters, policy makers or events organisers. Let’s help get British street food to the next level – it’s time!