From Jozi to Pho in Vietnam, street food constitutes up to 40% of the daily diet of urban consumers in the developing world. This is the perfect excuse for a Street Food Festival that celebrates an age-old cultural tradition and showcases local cuisine and street food entrepreneurs. See you there?
Cape Town | Sunday 26 July
Side Street Studios, 48 Albert Road, Woodstock.
Joburg | Saturday 1 August
Hazard Gallery, Arts on Main. 264 Fox Street, Maboneng.
The Street Food Market
Showcasing many of Cape Town’s favourites, get ready to chow down on all the goodness that Max Bagels has to offer, the heavily dark brews of The Department of Coffee, Didi’s Burritos little wrapped bundles of joy, the tasty delights from Meisies Kitchen food truck, the unforgettable meat of Southern Smoke and Argies’ proper Argentinean asado.
In Joburg you can expect to nab something delicious from The Counter, the wonderfully loud and atmospheric Sumting Fresh, the Middle Eastern and African flavours of Tutto Laffa’s yellow food truck, meaty Greek love on a stick from Soul Souvlaki, Maboneng staples Little Addis, saucy nibbles at Ribs, Wings n Things, with Grounded Smoothies to wash it all down.
The Street Food Conference
As well as tasting new things and rediscovering classics created with love and crafted care at the FREE street food market, you can also learn from some of the big names in South Africa’s food industry at the festival’s day-long congress.
From food styling tips from Eat Out and TASTE Editor Abigail Donnelly and the digital marketing expertise of entrepreneur Uno de Waal, to Mail and Guardian Arts, Culture and Entertainment Editor Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine’s advice on ‘How to Deal with the Media’.
The Street Food Dinner
As if all that wasn’t exciting enough, the day will end with a dinner designed to celebrate African cuisine, prepared by the Max Bagels guys (Matthew Freemantle and Andrew Kai) in collaboration with local African immigrant cooks. On the night you look forward to (depending on availability of produce, of course):
Nigerian Bitter Leaf Soup
Malawian Grilled Talapia with Nsima (pap)
Zimbabwean Mopani worms
Somali style Kid meat stew
Ghanaian Plantain milkshakes
DECO sat down with Hannerie Visser, Street Food Festival Director, to find out a bit more…
What is street food by (your) definition?
Street food is ready-to eat food or drink sold in a street or other public space, such as a market or fair, by a hawker or vendor, often from a portable stall. While some street foods are regional, many are not, having spread beyond their region of origin. According to 2007 study from the Food and Agriculture Organization, 2.5 billion people eat street food every day.
Today, many people purchase street food for a number of reasons; such as to obtain reasonably priced and flavourful food in a sociable setting, to experience ethic cuisines and also for nostalgia.
Historically, in places such as ancient Rome, street food was purchased because the urban poor did not have kitchens in their homes.
What sets South African street food apart from the rest of the world?
Our diversity – we have such a rich collective food heritage.
What street food are you most excited about at the moment?
I am doing a lot of research about African street food and making a point of eating at local immigrant restaurants wherever I travel in South Africa.
Why is street food being celebrated and brought into focus again?
The streets are where cities and local cultures come alive. They are the locus for languages, lives and customs to collide and become- not only a way of life- but most importantly, food. Street food is such an honest, humble form of cooking and selling food. That is why it deserves to be celebrated.
Book now to taste and learn your way through the South African streets.
Admission to the market is free (yay), whereas the conference is R300 and the dinner is R350.
Tickets can be booked at quicket.co.za.
Additional sources: Wikipedia and streetfood.org