British Street Food Awards winners 2014

Taiwanese buns served from a scaffold rig, crispy pakoras from a car boot and fish'n'chips from a massive boombox… Richard Johnson, founder of the British Street Food Awards, applauds the ingenuity (and heavenly flavours) of this year's winners

The finalists in the 2014 British Street Food Awards had already been through seven regional heats before going head-to-head in the national finals in Leeds a fortnight ago. The coolest vans, trucks and trailers (including a Gujarati horse box and a solar kitchen from Helsinki) traded all weekend. Here are the winners…

Best of the best

Fu-Schnikens

This Yorkshire team served up great Guo Bao – Taiwanese steamed buns – from a simple wood-clad scaffold rig. Filled with hoisin, cashews, sesame, palm sugar, pickled carrot and mouli, they come in three flavours: glazed portobello mushroom, crispy panko chilli chicken and braised pork belly.

People's choice

Little Blue Smokehouse, Kent

This smoking team cure, brine, dry-rub and, over oak, hot-smoke the meat themselves. The smoked pigs cheeks, marinated in Korean barbecue sauce, served in a brioche bun, with miso mayo, spicy Gochujang sauce, kimchi and pickled mustard greens made a lot of friends.

Best snack

Fresh Rootz's woodland mushroom, roasted pepper and spinach pakoras

Having lent their Mad Max caravan to DJ/producer Naughty Boy to cook his garam masala shepherd's pie at the awards, this street-food collective fried up their crisp pakoras, served with a 'slaw citrus salad, off the boot of a car.

Best main

Fish&'s east coast fish & chips

Classic fast food with a twist; lovingly cooked out of a van and trailer, with flecks of chilli in the batter and sides of chipotle 'slaw.

Best burger

Original Patty Men's Sumo

The togarashi seasoning in their burger gave the Original Patty Men the edge. That, plus the Gyu dare-marinated beef patty, crispy togarashi onions, cucumber ribbons pickled in mirin, wasabi ketchup, tossed sesame oil, beansprout and watercress salad. And a good shot of alcohol off the sake.

Best sandwich

Cauldron Catering's Ham Shank Redemption

The Cauldron Catering are Al and Hannah James, who buy animals whole from neighbouring Devon farms, do the butchery themselves, and cook over sustainable charcoal. "We forage for sorrel, black mustard and dandelion root," says Al. "Our power comes from solar panels on the van, and our packaging is 100 per cent compostable." Their mission, to "prove fast food can be delicious and ethical", is born out by the smoked ham hock in a wrap with smashed peas and mint, black pudding, and mustard-pickled fennel and cucumber.

Best drink

HY Kitchen's Schnapps Made From My Uncle Ludwig

Monica Waltner is a famous nutritionist in Austria, and she insists that her Uncle Ludwig's schnapps has restorative qualities. She came to Leeds with only eight bottles and there was a lot of toasting going on, so get it while/if you can.

Best dessert

Antto Melasniemi's liquorice chocolate pots

Melasniemi, from Helsinki, is a true individual. Who else would bring a solar-powered kitchen to Leeds in September?

Best-looking mobiler

Hip Hop Chip Shop

The Manchester music-mad chefs put the hip in chip. And they do it by cooking out of a massive stainless-steel boombox.

Best overseas trader

Malmo's Nordic Street Food

Jens and Pernilla drive the only food truck in the world to serve new Nordic food. They brought slow-cooked venison, sour cabbage with parsley, horseradish cream and sweet-and-sour lingonberries on flatbread from Jämtland, washed down with Äppelmust and birchwater, with the taste of elerflower and blueberries.

Best newcomer

Nusou

Nusou has been trading for just a few months, but is already attracting attention. The truck has just a noodle cooker, soup kettle, six-ring burner and deli counter full of fresh veg. Oh, and Derek, a chef with formal restaurant qualifications, rosettes and a Bib Gourmand.

Best street-food collective

Guerilla Eats

Manchester's Guerrilla Eats and Birmingham's Digbeth Dining Club (below) illustrate how far street food is spreading beyond London. Guerrilla Eats has an inspirational set of traders, and held the Northern heats of the street-food awards in the old Granada studios – right next to Coronation Street's cobbles.

Best street-food event

Digbeth Dining Club

Digbeth hosts full-on food raves in an up-and-coming part of the Second City, illustrating the power of street food to regenerate an area. If only councils would take note. 1

British Street Food is now on a nationwide tour, appearing in Edinburgh today. For details: britishstreetfood.co.uk/2014/ 09/all-aboard/

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