The Welsh Street Food Awards are back on 21-22 May with a lineup of Wales’ best street food chefs competing against each other to take the 2022 title.
The awards are hosted by Street Food Circus at Roath Yard, a global street food court which has taken over an old milk float depot, just off City Road for four weekends of flavours from around the world.
The Welsh Street Food Awards winner goes on to represent Wales in the British Street Food Awards (BSFA). Last year’s Welsh winner, Janet’s Authentic Northern Chinese, went all the way from Roath Yard to become British Champion.
The 2022 Welsh shortlist is:
- Cosmo’s Mexicana
- Ringo’s Dirty Diner
- Dirty Gnocchi
- Nomad Kitchen
- Bearded Taco
- Hot Damn
- Fork Society
- Smokin Griddle
- Keralan Karavan
- Bao Selecta
- Tokyo Nights
- Poutine Punks
Returning to judge the Welsh awards are Sam Evans & Shauna Guinn of Hangfire fame, who have a busy summer ahead of them – from creating an interactive BBQ dining experience on London’s South Bank in July to a Cajun Boil Rave in Merthyr Mawr in September via pop-ups in Soho’s Quo Vadis, supper clubs in Lee Skeets’ Cora, Meatopia with an all-female team of BBQ chefs and the UKs longest grill, and hosting at Cardiff Pride!
“It’s fantastic to be back judging the Welsh Street Food Awards for our third year running. It’s a hugely important event on the Welsh culinary scene, run nationally and internationally by the British Street Food group. Each winner gets a chance to represent Wales and compete in the British Street Food Awards – an event that can really open doors for talented traders. The public can also graze their way around the contenders and cast their vote too, so we’ll see two brilliant Welsh traders rocketed to the UK finals”
“We are often asked ‘how do we choose a winner?’ For us it’s about giving us something that really represents you, not what necessarily is your best-selling item. Each trader has a few minutes to tell us about their dish and we’ll ask about you, your business, and how you prepared the dish. Please make as many elements of the dish yourself – give us something that blows your own mind and you’ll have a recipe for success”
They’ll be joined on the judging panel this year by Cardiff blogger Kacie Morgan (therarewelshbit.com). Everyone who attends the event across the weekend will also have an opportunity to cast their vote for the winners.
Richard Johnson is the founder of the British Street Food Awards. He explained:
“Chefs from Wales have always done well on our UK stage and we were all blown away by Janet’s cooking last year. It’s great to hear that she’s going from strength to strength and now opening her own new restaurant. A British Street Food Award win can be transformative and we’ve seen many of our past winners go on to build whole chains of independent restaurants.
“We love coming to Wales and working with Street Food Circus and Sam & Shauna and I can’t wait to see what we’ll be eating this year – and, who knows, maybe discovering our next British Street Food Champion again here in Cardiff”, he said.
National and regional heats take place throughout the UK with the British Street Food Awards held in September.
Roath Yard runs for four weekends, culminating in the four-day bank holiday weekend at the start of June. Bringing flavours from around the world to the city will be a rotating roster of food trucks including:
Fire & Flank; Hot Damn; The Mighty Soft Shell Crab; Queen Pepiada; Ringo’s Dirty Diner; Dirty Gnocchi; Nomad Kitchen; Cosmos Mexicana; Keralan Karavan; The Fork Society; Bearded Taco; Bao Selecta; Tokyo Nights; Poutine Punks; Rocky’s Back Seat Diner; Hogi Hogi Hogi; Pwdin; Smokin Griddle and Kapow Ribs.
The regular Roath Yard lineup includes two award winners from last year’s BSFA – Keralan Karavan (Best Sandwich 2021) and Fire & Flank (Best Dish 2021).
The colourful Street Food Circus set up includes the BoBo cocktail bus, craft beer bar, a mix of open air and covered seating and busking bands and DJs adding to the atmosphere.
Matt ‘the Hat’ Lawton is the founder and ‘ringmaster’ of the Street Food Circus:
“We set up Street Food Circus with a mission to create platforms for new, independent chefs to sharpen their skills, create new dishes and build a customer base. So we’re thrilled to see them go on to win UK awards, open their own restaurants or land TV and book deals. It’s great to be hosting the Welsh Street Food Awards again here in Roath Yard, supporting and showcasing all the creative cooking talent we have here in Wales,” he said.
Sam Evans added:
“We didn’t start as street food traders, we started with kitchen take-overs initially. We had an opportunity to create streetfood, for the first time on a big scale with Street Food Circus in 2015 – and boy, was that a special 6-week event. The ambition and creativity of the SFC team is world-class. They take the time, care, and attention to deliver a deeply visceral experience for the hungry hoards and we love what they do for Wales,” she said.
Tickets are free, but need to be pre-booked at: www.tickettailor.com/events/streetfoodcircus