Street food specialists tickle crowd tastebuds for national contest

FOODIES from across the region have been flocking to Gunwharf Quays over the bank holiday weekend, as the British Street Food Awards hot up in Portsmouth.

Visitors test their tastebuds at Gunwharf Quays
Visitors test their tastebuds at Gunwharf Quays

The regional heat of the competition took place in the city for the first time over the bank holiday weekend, with hundreds of visitors trying out new flavours from across the globe, before giving their feedback on their favourite dishes.

The winner of the regional heats will win a place in the national finals in London, with the opportunity to represent Britain in the European Street Food Awards finals in Berlin.

Eleven street food chefs from across the region competed in the competition.

Visitors test their tastebuds at Gunwharf Quays

Additional heats will be taking place across the UK as the event organisers look to find the best of the best.

Wave 105 also treated visitors to some music and some light refreshments with the Tack ‘N’ Tipple horsebox bar.

Glen North, 48 from Portsmouth, said: ‘We just ended up coming along here for the day.

‘Because we were doing a few other things we decided to pop by – that’s definitely the benefit of having it in a place like Gunwharf because people can just wander into it, whether they knew if it was there or not.

Visitors test their tastebuds at Gunwharf Quays

‘It’s really nice to have something different like this here.

‘We went to Bubble& –which is the bubble and squeak place – at the Historic Dockyard at Christmas and it is really good.’

His partner, Lisa North, 47, said: ‘It’s been really good, seeing all these different types of food in one place has been really great.

‘The weather has held up all weekend too which is nice; it’s almost like being on holiday here.’

Visitors test their tastebuds at Gunwharf Quays

Kev Neville, 57 from Gosport, said: ‘I didn’t actually know that this was taking place, so to come down here and see it was quite a nice surprise.

‘We were going to take a bit of a walk to find somewhere to eat – so this has been very convenient.’

His partner, 49-year-old Sarah Neville, said: ‘The whole event has this really nice atmosphere to it.

‘It just seems like a nice family day out.

‘I went for the bubble and squeak but there is loads of different food to choose from.

‘That’s the upside of street food though – and we have thoroughly enjoyed the event here.’

General manager of Gunwharf Quays Colin Wilding says that the competition was incredibly tough.

He said: ‘The shortlist of traders competing represent some of the very best in our region, giving visitors to the centre a truly unique experience.’