The inaugural European Street Food Awards – ESFAs – are set to launch this May, marking a new era in Europe’s food revolution.
With the continent in the grip of a street food obsession, the ESFAs celebrate a new chapter in eating out as we know it. Throughout summer 2017, countries across Europe will be competing for their own national titles, with everything from Spanish churros to Bulgarian banitsa in the running, before they come to Berlin in September to compete for the title of European champion.
“Street food is taking over,” says Richard Johnson, founder of the European Street Food Awards (ESFAs).
“And that’s because we are choosing to eat in different ways. Sometimes we don’t want a fixed starter-main-dessert-style menu any more – we want a bit of this and a bit of that. It’s flirty, low-commitment dining, and it’s why pop-ups and street food have become so popular. It’s a much nicer way to eat.”
There will be national championships in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Sweden, France and the UK throughout the summer, with more contestants still to be announced on www.europeanstreetfood.com
The winners from each country, plus a few wildcards chosen by industry experts, will then compete at Berlin’s Bite Club for the top European title, with a party extravaganza to mark the finale including DJs, food seminars, fire pits and a floating bar.
Members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite via the new European St. Food app. Launching in May, the app will showcase the best street food on the continent with live GPS maps showing who’s trading where and when. It will also contain the latest news stories from a top team of street food journalists, and of course details of how to vote for their favourites at Bite Club.
The ESFAs is the brainchild of the team behind the British Street Food Awards. Founded back in 2010, the BSFAs are deemed to be the toughest in the world, with five regional heats culminating in a live, national cook-off, judged by the general public and Michelin-starred chefs.
“This new way of eating is all about coming together and sharing food,” says Johnson.
“In a world like ours, that feels like a positive message right now.”