Competition’s eating up: Blue Collar hosts Street Food awards
ONE of Reading’s culinary hubs played host to a national competition seeking the best gastro-on-the-go offerings this week.
On Saturday, Blue Collar Corner hosted the 2023 British Street Food Awards’ Southeast heats, bringing a whole host of regional vendors to Reading.
While Blue Collar is already home to a constantly rotating offering of diverse street food, the Corner saw some of the very best in the Southeast bring their world cuisines to compete and go through to the national heats.
Offerings included steak sandwiches from Rosto, the UK’s only robata-to-go grill, locally-sourced burgers from Cafe 77, Iraqi food from Amani, and Australian fare sold from an ambulance by Parma Medics.
Glen Dinning, managing director at Blue Collar, said that being selected to host the heats was “really exciting”.
“Around 3,000 nominees were whittled down to 12, with the winner going through to the finals, which means you get a real flavour of what is to come,” he added.
The event, he felt, “sets the benchmark: you see amazing food concepts that are different, innovative, and creative.
“In five or 10 years time, these guys will go on to have their own restaurants, and this is what they will look like.”
After battling off fierce competition, The Hash Hut, which serves hash browns loaded with toppings, took the Judges’ Choice award.
“The beef-cheek topped hash browns went down particularly well, which were just delicious – I don’t think any of us would have thought of it.
“It’s All Gravy’s secret recipe makes theirs the best gravy you’ll ever taste; a really brilliant selection.”
He said that Blue Collar estimates it was visited by more than 3,000 people over the course of the weekend.
“We loved having it here, simply because it was just such great fun.”
Winners of the regional heats will now go on to compete at the national event.
“We have new street food concepts all the time, and some real special names coming in over the next few months.
“We’re also gearing up for the Cheese Feast in Forbury Gardens, which will be bigger than ever before.”
This festival takes place in Forbury Gardens from FridaySunday, April 28-30.