A cornucopia of effervescent smells fills the London air as you enter its rich street food markets. You explore a little further to find an epicurean microcosm of food unites nations within the moment between a few paces.
Meandering on you become mesmerised by the vibrancy of the colours adorning the streets and the pulsating sizzle of the beat. London’s street food scene is a living, breathing entity with a multi-sensorial appeal and an Aladdin’s Cave of delights; but did you ever stop to wonder how the fabulous food arrived there?
There’s a journey involved that takes those tasty treats from a catering kitchen to your mouth, and that’s the journey which you’re about poetically discover…
Street Food Vendors & Shared Kitchens
Well, the average day of a street food vendor usually starts before the sun is up at around 5am when they open up their premises. A growing number of vendors are favouring shared kitchens in London so, although you may not be up, you can be guaranteed to see a friendly face or two even at this time in the morning. The first job of the day is prep. So no matter what the end product is, the golden rule is: fail to prepare, prepare to fail. However one of the benefits of using a licensed commercial kitchen in London is that there is ample opportunity to share purchasing, ideas or even equipment if required.
Re-Stock / Re-Fuel
Once they’re prepared and ready for the day our brave street vendors will set out to forage the streets of London to re-stock and re-fuel their supplies to ensure they’re only serving up the freshest of ingredients when the lunch bell strikes. Depending on the type of street food they’re dishing up this part of the day could be a mad, Dale Winton inspired dash or it could be more of a Stephen Fry-esque meander through the historic streets.
At around 10am you’ll find our fearless food purveyors back in their kitchens to rent, finessing their wares ready for the public. You see the skill of the trader isn’t just in the sausage they sell but the sizzle it makes as it cooks. The hard work is done in the kitchen but the magic happens out on the street, the arena, the trading floor. Once the foodpreneur hits the street there is a palpable change in them and they become able to talk directly to our senses with their majesty.
But this isn’t really magic is it? No, it’s the product of careful planning, market research, hours at the drawing board, hours in the kitchen, perfection, perfection, perfection. The street feast that we now enjoy in London is a consequence of well-placed and considered decisions. Whether to hire a kitchen in London or not?
Kitchen & Stall Locations
If you do find a commercial kitchen to license in London, where is the right pitch for your stall? Foodpreneurs such as Dayan and Webb have struck the right balance by working with FoodStars to find a practical, affordable and accessible space from which to launch their brand of ‘magic’.
So the next time you’re about to tuck into your Bahn Mi, why not take a moment to stop and ponder the journey your fantastically on trend sandwich may have been on.
By Northern Munkee, Reviewer