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Andy Bates is known for his hearty street food. His modern twists on classic dishes are fuelled by his international travels and a passion for re-discovering and cooking great British food. As the gaffer of specialist food company ‘Eat My Pies’, Andy brings the best of British food back to the public, including classic tarts, pies, Scotch eggs and, of course, some tasty puddings.

Andy is a contributing chef for Food Network UK and has already had two successful series broadcast on the channel - Andy Bates Street Feasts and Andy Bates American Street Feasts. His latest series, Andy Bates Brazilian Street Feasts, launched in February 2014. All three series follow him as he travels across continents to explore the world of street food and find the stories and people behind the recipes. As a result, he has become a leading expert on street food, with regular appearances on the street food circuit. Andy, who lives by the quote "You should always finish on a little bit of pudding", has also written a cookbook offering modern twists on classic dishes.

Chef TV Blog Recipes 

On a global food adventure meeting inspiring people along the way.

Filtering by Category: Festival

Surf & Turf with Greens and Coconut Milk Linguine

Andy Bates

andy-bates-linguine

Ingredients 

Serves 2

  • 1 rib eye steak
  • light soy sauce
  • peanut oil for frying
  • Half packet of linguine
  • 300g shelled raw tiger prawns (keep the shells & heads)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 100g kale, baby spinach, or any leftover greens
  • thumb size piece of ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 bunch basil leaves
  • 1x 400ml can coconut milk or cream
  • 2 limes
  • chopped peanuts

 

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7. Peel the prawns and place the shells and heads onto a baking tray to roast off for 8-10 minutes.

Heat a frying pan to a high heat. Rub steak with oil, season generously with just salt and pepper and cook to your liking. Rest on a plate until needed.

Cook linguine in salted boiling water for 7 mins, strain and keep until needed.

Roughly chop the garlic and ginger, heat a saucepan to medium heat and add the coconut oil, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes and cook off for 3-4 minutes without burning. To the saucepan add the roasted shells and heads scraping out any and all the juices from the baking tray. Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and cook for 10 more minutes reducing by around a third and thickening the stock. 

Into a liquidiser add the kale and any greens then strain the coconut stock and shells through a fine sieve into a liquidiser. Discard the shells and heads. Blend well to a vibrant green, smooth sauce. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and check for seasoning.

Return the stock to a clean pan, add the prawns, bring to the boil and cook gently for 2-3 minutes or until the prawns are cooked.

Add the linguine to the sauce and mix well pulling with tongs to evenly coat the pasta.

Transfer your pasta to a bowl and serve steak next to pasta on a board. Arrange lime wedges next to the steak and sprinkle pasta with chopped peanuts and red chilli flakes.     

 

andy-bates

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Andy Bates

This is super easy and super sweet recipe!!!

For those of you not in the know (I wasn't ;-), a 'snickerdoodle' is a type of cookie from North America that's rolled in cinnamon sugar and has a cracked surface once baked.

It’s soft, sweet and very tasty.  Your kitchen will smell amazing, and all will be good with the world. again. 

Everything can be made in advance, and you don’t even need to churn the ice cream, just mix and pop into the freezer until needed and the cookie dough mix can be made in advance and baked fresh just before needed. 

Once baked, the cookies will keep well for 4­-5 days in sealed container.

Enjoy!


MY SNICKERDOODLE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

andy-bates-snickerdoodle-ice-cream-sandwich

MY SNICKERDOODLE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

Ingredients

For the snickerdoodle cookies:

  • 240g butter
  • 180g light brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp bicarb
  • 1⁄2 tsp cream of tartar/baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 300g flour
  • cinnamon sugar (50g caster sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon)

For the ice cream:

  • 400ml double cream
  • 400g can condensed milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 50g honeycomb
  • a handful of milk chocolate shavings

Method

To make the ice cream:

Slice the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the black seeds and place in a bowl. Add the cream and whisk until soft peaks form. Add the condensed milk to the cream and whisk again until combined. Break the honeycomb into chunks, gently fold into the ice cream mix.

Pour into a baking tray 30cmx20cm lined with greaseproof paper that gives the ice cream 1­-2 inches in depth/thickness.

Freeze until firm.

For the Snickerdoodles:

Melt the butter and add to a bowl. Whisk together the butter and sugars until well mixed.

Add the egg, vanilla paste and combine.

Add all remaining dry ingredients and combine to a soft paste.

Transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour or more and will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge).

Roll into 25g perfect balls and then roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat.

Place on a baking tray with ample space between and bake 10-­12 minutes at 170C, then allow to cool.

To assemble:

Cut the ice cream with a round cutter/mould the same size as the snickerdoodles.

Turn a snickerdoodle upside down, place the cut ice cream on top, place a second snickerdoodle facing up on top and gently press down to adhere or make 'a sandwich'.

Pop back into the freezer till needed and continue to make sandwiches.

To serve, roll half of the sandwich in chocolate shavings. 

Lamb Pie & Broad Bean Mash

Andy Bates

On the brief for my cooking demonstration at the BBC Good Food Show Dubai, I was told to make sure the ingredients were accessible and had a middle eastern theme. So what better than to put a twist to on a great British classic with the addition of those middle eastern flavours. 

Pie and mash but instead of beef, let's use lamb and add cinnamon that everyone knows as a great culinary match. I am using rough puff as the lid, a versatile pastry that works with these big flavours. And by adding toasted pine nuts just before rolling the pastry on adds a welcoming crunchy texture to the pie.

Paired with a broad bean mash being sweet works well with the lamb and is a great alternative to classic potato mash. Garden peas will work just as well too.


andy-bates-lamb-pie
andy-bates-lamb-pie

MY LAMB PIE AND BROAD BEAN MASH

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 750g minced lamb
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 30g toasted pine nuts
  • salt and pepper

For the pastry:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 125g cold butter cubed
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • dash of water
  • egg yolk for brushing

For the Broad Bean mash:

  • 1kg Podded Broad Beans
  • 1 Medium Potato peeled, cooked and mashed
  • 500ml milk
  • 25ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g grated Pparmesan
  • a handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • 50g feta
  • zest of 1 lemon

 

Method

For the pastry:

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and add the butter, gently mix, and add the egg yolk and a dash of water.  Combine to a dough making sure there are butter lumps throughout. Wrap in clingfilm and chill.

For the Lamb:

In a saucepan, heat the oil till smoking and fry off the lamb in batches until browned and golden all over. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate.

To the pan, add the onions and garlic, lower the heat and sweat off for 5 minutes. Then, return the lamb to the pan. Add the spices and cook off for a further 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and chicken stock, place the lid on and cook for 2 hours.

Remove the lid, turn up the heat and reduce by a 1⁄3 to thicken.

Season with salt & pepper, add the pine nuts and allow to cool.

To assemble:

Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Fill four individual pie dishes with the lamb filling.

Brush the rims of the pie dishes with egg yolk. Separate the pastry into four and roll into circles/ovals 10mm thick making sure they overlap each pie dish, top with a circle of pastry, seal and crimp the edges and trim around the sides of your dish to neaten if needed.

Brush the top of the pastry with egg yolk. Bake for about 25­-30 minutes till the pastry is golden brown. Cool for 5­-10 minutes before serving.

For the mash:

First, remove the outer shell of the beans.

In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil and add the beans, cook for 3-­4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a food processor and puree.

Add the potato, parmesan, salt and pepper, mint and a little of the milk to loosen and quickly blitz to combine. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with the crumbled feta and a drizzle of olive oil.

WOMAD 2015

Andy Bates

MUD CITY with Alan & Mark 

MUD CITY with Alan & Mark 

In 2014, I was fortunate enough to be invited along to WOMAD Festival to judge the food on offer. And this year once again, Alan Fox and Mark Laurie from NCASS gave me the nod to join them again.

For those that don't know, NCASS are a trade organisation set up to assist and provide food traders and caterers with the information, systems and support to be safe, legal and most importantly, profitable business. They want their traders to succeed and have become a key part of the ever expanding street food and festival food scene. If you are interested in starting a street food business, NCASS will be there to provide you with all the knowledge you need. Check them out.

Back to the festival, WOMAD began in 1982 bringing music from around the world, performance arts and educational projects together offering for great long weekend and camping experience. This year although hit by a lot of rain on the Friday and Sunday, the show continued. Highlighting De La Soul as a personal favourite with a funk and soul backing band banging out all their hits from my teenage years plus a handful of classic 90’s hip hop covers thrown in for good measure.  With my favourite line heard being “If you're over 35 you'll know this!” 

But I was here to work so let's stick to point, FOOD ;)

NCASS and festival trader manager Lulu Cowley have been working together to ensure all the insurance, hygiene certificates and all paperwork are in order for the traders to have a problem-free weekend and do what they do best... MAKE AND SELL GREAT FOOD! 

WOMAD Radio!

WOMAD Radio!

The festival over the years has always had great food with some of the traders selling their wares at WOMAD for over 25 years. And with the emergence of new traders from the street food scene over the past 5-6 years becoming of a much higher quality (and rightly so) the organisers thought it about time we celebrate how this festival is becoming one of the leaders in great quality festival food. Even with just a year on from my last visit I can certainly vouch for this. With Lulu mixing a blend of older festival traders with newer traders, the offerings match the music with flavours from all over the world. NCASS and Lulu decided to recognise the food traders for their efforts with two categories of the 'Best Meal and 'Best  Snack' with a prize of £500 going to each. An extra category was added for 'People's Choice' voted by the festival goers thru twitter (or voting box) offering £500 to the winning trader and a pair of free tickets to the best food tweet using the hashtag #WomadFood.  My main task was to judge the categories of 'Best Snack' and 'Best Meal', amongst drumming up buzz with tweets and social media shout outs including an appearance on WOMAD Radio. And of course, eating and eat I certainly did. The food was so good so we decided to have shared winners in each category and here they are... 

- BEST SNACK -


Dorshi - Amazing East Asian dumplings using British produce
&
Oysters On Wheels - Pan-fried scallops and smoked salmon on toast at a festival? YES PLEASE!!

Amazing dumplings from Dorshi

Amazing dumplings from Dorshi

Oysters On Wheels

Oysters On Wheels

Pan-fried scallops & smoked salmon on toast

Pan-fried scallops & smoked salmon on toast

- BEST MEAL- 


The Thoroughly Wild Meat Company - Lamb tagine of the highest order with mezes
&
The Chai Shop Organic - Organic and hearty veggie curries, chai and cakes. 

andy-bates-woman-food
andy-bates-womad-food

- PEOPLE'S CHOICE- 


First Class Toast - all kinds of cheese toasties served all day and night
&
Dosa Deli - yummy, clean and fresh South Indian food made by great people

Dosa Deli

Dosa Deli

Dosa & Bhaji with coconut chutney

Dosa & Bhaji with coconut chutney

bacon & cheese toast from First Class Toast

bacon & cheese toast from First Class Toast

Many Thanks to WOMAD, Mark & Alan from NCASS, Lulu and her team and all the food traders for a great weekend. 



Food Jam @ Enys Gardens, Cornwall

Andy Bates

Enys House

Enys House

Inside the home

Inside the home

andy-bates-food-jam

Back in February my old flatmate Emma contacted me because she was thinking about putting together a food festival in Falmouth and asked if I would like to be involved? 
'Of course' was my reply.
‘What do you have in mind?

andy-bates-food-jam

Emma and her friend Mia had found a location in the unspoilt surroundings of Enys Gardens, Penryn, Falmouth. Uninhabited for over 40 years it has recently been privately taken over by owners that would like to see it being used a little more, so why not put on a little street food festival there.

Shellfish Pig

Shellfish Pig

Pork & Fennel Sausage Muffin from Angus & Mitchell 

Pork & Fennel Sausage Muffin from Angus & Mitchell 

andy-bates-food-jam

The festival accurately named 'Food Jam' held over two days (July 11th & 12th) and was a great way of bringing together local Cornish businesses. The locals were given a taste of how the street food scene works, featuring a street food trail inviting visitors on a culinary journey thru all the street food vendors whilst also enjoying the surrounding historic gardens. Each vendor had a small plate on offer between £3 to £4 therefore encouraging guests try a bit of everything. The trail continued through the house, gardens and marquee, allowing you to enjoy live music, featured talks, food demos and sample locally crafted beer from the microbrewery, Dynamite Valley.

Mintydukkalabneh by Sea Dips Cornwall

Mintydukkalabneh by Sea Dips Cornwall

Take a look at some of the traders below:

andy-bates-food-jam
Chocolarder's amazing chocolate selection

Chocolarder's amazing chocolate selection

Steak Sandwich from Chimichurri Cornwall

Steak Sandwich from Chimichurri Cornwall

Yours truly had the job of comparing in the marquee for the weekend, with inspiring talks from Matt Vernon on foraging and how to skin and cook wild rabbit, Richard Musgrave from Downright Delicious on how to prep for a dinner party, Hiromi from Sushi Ichiban Cornwall on how to roll your own sushi, local seaweed talks, and bee conservation and beekeeping talks from on grounds' beekeeper Roger Dewhurst. With many activities and games offering plenty for little people to get involved and ending each day with live music from Preachin' Country, the weekend was a great success with great attendance over both days.

As always I got to eat a lot over the two days from breakfast muffins, wood-fire pizza, Argentinian-inspired steak sandwiches, brioche sliders, pad thai, and custard tarts just to name a few. And as if that wasn’t enough each evening after the festival we’d tuck into the fabulous wares from the traders. Amongst my favourite was the amazing mintydukkalabneh by Sea Dips Cornwall, a creamy, rich, yogurt dip and the equally yummy honeycomb milk chocolate from Chocolarder

So Congrats to Emma and Mia for putting on such a great event, well done to all traders and businesses involved!  ROLL ON, Food Jam 2016...

Emma & I 

Emma & I 

British Pie Awards 2015

Andy Bates

andy-bates-british-pie-awards

It's April and that can only mean one thing to me... The British Pie Awards!

This year, the British Pie Awards invited me back to not only judge but to also compère their awards lunch the following day.

andy-bates-british-pie-awards

While looking at the list of judges a few days earlier I discovered that Marcus Bean, lover of all things chocolate and excerise, would be attending and decided via twitter we'd go for a run around the mighty Pie-shire (Leicestershire to be exact) on the morning of the judging. Our plan being that if we were going to be eating pie all day then at least a little morning exercise would just justify what was ahead.

andy-bates-british-pie-awards

The awards as every year are held in St. Mary's Church with Reverend Kevin Ashby opening up the doors on the two conditions...

  1. That we, the people respect the church
  2. He can be a judge and eat pie too 

On the morning of the big day, the church was buzzing with excitement with local and national press attending. There were 830 pies from over 130 pie makers to be judged and as always it's great to see the Pierates making themselves busy like kids in a candy shop. Before the judging commences 'Revd Kevin' addresses the congregation with a sermon and a pie prayer. 

My chosen category was Class 1 "The Melton Mowbary Pork Pie" to be judged by myself and master baker Richard Watkins (being a 'Bates' I am allowed an wry smile at that title ;). Richard has been making pork pies for years at his family-owned business in Westgate, Gratham and certainly knows his shoulder from belly.

This category calls for all pies to comply with all specifications needed to be an authentic Melton Mowbray Pork Pie by Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association which is explained as such... "The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie is a distinct product that is recognisably different from other pork pies, both in physical characteristics and in reputation. The sides of a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie are bow-shaped as they are baked free standing, whereas most other pork pies are straight-sided being baked in hoops. The meat used is fresh pork which is naturally grey when cooked, liked roast pork, not pink like other pork pies which used cured pork. The meat must be particulate, as we use chopped pork, not smooth on the palate as most other pork pies are because they used minced meat. The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie is also well jellied and the meat seasoned with salt and pepper."

andy-bates-british-pie-awards

We have 14 pies to try and our judging criteria included; appearance, pastry thickness, over boil, filling and taste. They are all of the highest quality. The hardest part I found was not washing each mouthful down with a bite of a pickled onion and a glug of ale, so my taste buds had to be at the top of their game. Crispness, crunch and seasoning of pastry, fat content and slight peppery after taste are all things I'm keeping an eye out for. About halfway through Richard and I found one that clearly stood out. We continue to try the rest (all amazing) but we had already chosen our winner. The results for Class 1 were as follows:

Winner: Handcrafter Melton Mowbray Pork Pie by Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe

Second: Artisan 440g Melton Mowbray Pork Pie by Walker & Son for M&S

Third: Large Melton Mowbray Pork Pie by Walker & son for Co-op website

After the all the eating AKA judging, a few of the judges and I rolled ourselves to the local for a welcomed pint and a chance to sit down and adjust our belts. Some of the other judges had tried over 40 pies! Take a peek at all the categories and winners of this year's British Pie Awards. 

The Great North Pie Co.

The Great North Pie Co.

The awards lunch took place the following day and was back in the church and PIE was on the menu for mains and dessert. The awards went very well with Boghall Butchers and Great North Pie Co taking the lions share of the awards but in the end small producer & Supreme champion went to Great North Pie CoCongrats to all involved! This is was only my second year at this prestigious event but everyone made me feel exceptionally welcome and very much part of the Pie family.

andy-bates-british-pie-awards
andy-bates-british-pie-awards
andy-bates-british-pie-awards

Afterwards the day was topped off by a lift back to London from old friends Piebury Corner, who incidentally won 2nd place in Class 8 Chicken Pie category for the “Theo Walcott” Jerk Chicken Porter Pie. Amongst our chat on the journey home they confined in me an idea to take over a well known Spanish island, start selling pies and rename it Pie-biza.

Now thats what I call the beginning of world PIE domination :)

 

 

Al Ain & Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi Food Festival | Feb. 12-21, 2015

Andy Bates

Madinat Zayad to Al Ain.

Leaving the sand dunes of the western region... we headed to our second destination, Al Ain. An eastern city based on the border next to Oman. Although full of western food outlets (and I can confess to giving in on more than one occasion to Shack Shake), it's also full of hidden gems with cafes serving grilled lebanese and middle eastern spreads with freshly squeezed juices or smoothies. One cafe that particularly stood out was Al Mallah Cafe, a sandwich bar during the day and I seriously recommend the chicken breast and chicken liver sub then after 5:30 pm they fire up the shawerma grills and things get serious (seriously delicious). 

andy-bates-valentines-day

It's good, so good in fact that the wife and I happily spent our Valentine's evening there eating meats with warm hummus and pine nuts served with plates of freshly washed salad and herbs, pickles, warm flatbreads and freshly squeezed mango and banana juice. The whole meal came to under £10 (She’s a lucky lady eh!, I spare no expense on dates out ;)

Now back to the festival, this time it was to be in the centre of town at the Al Jahili Park with a huge fort as the backdrop. The street food traders prepared for their second weekend formulating their menus, poolside may I add. ATE Street Food even sourced some local camel hump for their daily special slider, which mind you sold out in just a few hours. And with the addition of more chefs including Jun Tanaka, Suzanne Husseini, John Quilter, James Walters and a few locals from TV station Fatafeat, the cooking demonstrations now had even more variety with a mix of local cuisine, street food and restaurant dishes all coming together again hosted by the brilliant, Andrew Dickens.

It was busier than anyone expected! I kept myself busy between cooking demos by helping some of the traders, my duties included: collecting boxes of cheese sandwiches from the walk in fridge for The Cheese Truck, boxes of apples for Yogusensi, proved dough for Pizza Pilgrims and peeling 2kg of prawns for Donostia Social Club. The event was a success with all traders selling out on all three nights.

Back at the hotel every evening the traders resembled a Rugby team after a hard fought win. They were all battered, bruised and nursing their wounds but very high in spirits. And their remedy was like that of a Rugby player by heading to the hotel bar. It was affectionately named ‘Power Hour’ (the bar tended to close with less than an hour to go ;). 

With Al Ain done and dusted we headed to the final destination, Abu Dhabi.

Al Ain to Abu Dhabi. 

We all knew it was going to be a busy weekend, so the traders usual three to four day break before each festival had now been cut down to just one day by the pool with days spent sourcing and buying, giving themselves an extra day of prep to get ready for the final weekend of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival.

andy-bates-suzzane-husseini
andy-bates-suzzane-husseini

As I only had cooking demonstrations to do, I had an evening or two to spare and Suzanne Husseini kindly invited the Real Food team, Andrew Dickens, the wife and myself round for dinner. Now I'm lucky enough to work with street food and restaurants for a living but as soon as someone says 'home cooking' I accept instantly and I'm round in a shot! We were not disappointed... Suzanne put on an Arabic feast of all feasts with dishes like whole baked red snapper, homemade hummus, stuffed vine leaves and my favourite, lemony garlic chicken on rice with yoghurt sauce. We all left very happy and very full. Seriously, everyone needs to grab her cook book. 

andy-bates-cheese-truck

This time the festival was to be directly on the beach, on the Corniche to be exact. Right in downtown Abu Dhabi where many of the hotels are based.

We were all in a routine now, we were basically a travelling Street Food Festival circus. The Real Food Festival team at the helm getting all the final touches and last minute issues ironed out. The trucks arriving a couple of days before along with the demonstration stage, mobile prep kitchen, fridge and freezer trailers, electrics, plumbing, fencing, music stage, toilets and much, much more. 

The event again went to plan… BUSY! Even in the midst of a sandstorm, all traders sold out again, the kitchen demonstrations were all full houses and you could sense the people were excited and happy to have us in their city. 

I’m honoured to have been part of this journey, working with the traders and organisers as we ventured into the unknown, bringing the first travelling Street Food Festival to the United Arab Emirates. Seeing them go from strength to strength at each festival in stunning locations with road trips, hotel breakfasts and some bad dancing sprinkled along the way. And of course being out of London for three weeks in February in the sunshine is never a bad thing. Returning back to Blighty, I think we all felt a feeling of ‘MISSON SUCCESSFUL!'

Roll on to next year…

Abu Dhabi to Heathrow. Heathrow to Hackney. 

Taste of Dubai Launch Party

Andy Bates

With the 'major' help of Chef Spencer and the team behind #VidaFoodTruck, Taste of Dubai organised a preview event to mark their launch at Vida Downtown Dubai. Together we cooked up a few street food creations including my southern-fried chicken liver burger and sea bass ceviche along with Chef Spencer's lamb dawg, tater tots with braised beef and salsa to name a few. 

Taste of Dubai will be March 12 - 14th at the Dubai Media City. Join me at the Chef's Theatre and Cookery School. Get Involved! 

*some photos provided by Hotelier Middle East

MADINAT ZAYAD - ABU DHABI FOOD FESTIVAL | FEB. 5-8, 2015

Andy Bates

And the journey begins… Hackney to Heathrow, Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi to Madinat Zayad. 

Upon my arrival, I meet with the British street food traders at the hotel on the eve of the first night. They flew in several days before and their trucks shipped from the UK, a journey that took four weeks on a boat. They've been sourcing and preparing local ingredients, everyone's in high spirits and looking forward to the next three weeks.

Our first destination is the western region town of Madinat Zayad, right in the middle of the desert! (or dessert as I’ve been picked up upon calling it on twitter ;) The venue is Madinat Zayad Public Park, a lush and beautiful park surrounded by palm trees making it a mini oasis. A first for everyone trading in the streetfood scene I believe? 

Everyones been hard at work, the sun is shining and most importantly everything seems to have arrived (just in the nick of time), all thanks to the tremendous work of the team from Real Food Festival as they have put their all into these events for over six months to make it happen (Bravo!). Their goal, to be the first to bring street food festivals to the Abu Dhabi Emirate. 

So what am I here to do? Well, they've incorporated a cooking demo stage and I’ve been asked along with some of the traders to do some cooking demonstrations. Hosted by the patient and damn nice bloke, Andrew Dickens, we think we’ve got a pretty good team.

We make an early start on the first day of the festival to head to the local markets to see what ingredients we can find and get inspired for our cooking demos. It’s exactly what you’d expect; Loud, colourful and vibrant with strong smells of fruits and spices.

For my first demo I'll be making coxinhas (a Brazilian bar snack and one of my faves) as I know it's a crowd pleaser and great fun to make. For my other recipe I'm not so sure, I want to be inspired by local produce but also make something that shouts 'street food'. So when getting the chicken for the coxhinas, the butcher randomly offered me fresh chicken livers. Andrew and I gave each other a look that said 'I LOVE LIVER' (as liver lovers do) and so it was decided there and then that would be the hero of my second demonstration. Next, Andrew had to gather some dry spices and herbs; garlic, oregano, paprika to name a few. I was starting to slowly get an idea of what was coming up…

Then we were drawn to the bakery where an insanely good smell pulled me towards some freshly baked potato buns, rich, with sight sweet smell, fluffy and perfect for a hand held snack. Finally we headed to fruit and veg and grabbed some red cabbage, white cabbage, red onion, apple and chilli and all else that makes a perfect slaw.  

Yep! North American inspired but born in the middle east, I had come up with southern-fried chicken livers, chili slaw in a local potato-brioche style bun. Oh, I forgot to mention that I was gonna fill the base with roasted garlic and chicken fat homemade mayo. YEAH!

Now to the festival:

The offerings from the street food vendors is a mix of their own known classics from the UK but with local influence thrown in. We've got hot dogs, tapas, sliders, pizza, fresh juices, churros, Indian, British style tacos (with coined name of bracos), grilled cheese and ice creams… 

The street traders are ready for the weekend, 'en place', their menu signs posted and shouting their usual banter between the trucks. We were ready on the demo stage, so let the party begin! ;) From my experience of new street food events opening in different countries and cultures around the world, it's always a joy to see people coming through the gates and well, not knowing what really to expect. It's not a restaurant, it’s a little like a music festival and the big name acts are the street food traders. With colourful trucks and tents each with their unique styling, menus shouting out their offerings and inside the stars/chefs bang out their hits. Cheesy??? A little but bring it on!

After an hour the crowd starts to warm up and get the idea… Phones are out, social networking with pictures, queues are starting to gather and the knowledge/know that you're not there to eat just one dish hits home.

It's early days here in Abu Dhabi Food Festival and as we roll on to the next cities, it's gonna build up momentum. But what a great event to be involved with, seeing traders from the UK being giving this opportunity is what makes our scene appealing, I'm so proud to be part of this movement, working with small business getting out there and giving it a go, doing what they love and do best, working for themselves, meeting new friends and most importantly serving great food.

I wish the team nothing but good times and good fortunes.

Next stop, Al Ain...


Abu Dhabi Food Festival | Feb. 5-21, 2014

Andy Bates


  • February 5 to 7 in Madinat Zayad

  • February 12 to 14 in Al Ain

  • February 19 to 21 in Abu Dhabi

"A gastronomic feast awaits visitors at the first Abu Dhabi Food Festival to be held emirate-wide this February 5th -21st. The festival, served up by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), will reach out to residents and visitors alike over two weeks and three weekends and is supported by the emirate’s leading hotels, restaurants, malls and main attractions. 

Featuring the best Food Trucks all the way from London, UK and the UAE, Street Feast is an exciting new food festival road-show taking in the whole of the Abu Dhabi region. With cuisines from all around the world, the festival offers the chance for some serious feasting as well as chef demos, live music and entertainment in a unique, family-friendly day out. Street Feast is a new event organised by Real Food Festivals, launching as part of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival, presented by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Municipality, Al-Ain Municipality, Western Region Municipality, and Official airline Etihad."

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Leicester Market | Nov. 16th

Andy Bates

6th Annual Winter Food Festival @ Leicester Market 

November 16, 2014The 6th Annual Winter Food Festival is right around the corner and the day is shaping up to be an excellent one!

WILL BE RETURNING TO DEMO A COUPLE OF HOLIDAY THEMED MEALS AFTER APPEARING AT THIS YEAR'S SUMMER FESTIVAL INCLUDING: LEFTOVER TURKEY AND SWEETCORN CHOWDER WITH STOVE TOP SCONES AND ONION, FENNEL AND CHEESE TATIN. IN ADDITION TO THE COOKING DEMO’S I WILL ALSO BE SERVING UP TASTY CUBAN SANDWICHES AT MY OWN STALL IN FRONT OF THE FOOD HALL.

FREE TO ATTEND AND WILL START AT 11AM TIL 5:30 PM. 

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