Street food traders are instinctive people — they like to bring new influences to their food. But Rue de la Cocotte bring more influences than most. A Polish chef, inspired by the food of Belgium, classically trained in France, who is about to compete in the (first ever) Welsh Street Food Awards with a menu of boeuf bourguignon (slow cooked in red wine with mushrooms, thyme, onions, carrots and bacon) and tartiflette. It’s one for the record books. And if Rue de la Cocotte made it to the European Street Food Awards finals, which country would they represent?
Filip, from Poland, is a mining engineer and first moved to Belgium 11 years ago where his wife, Ewa, fell in love with the frites. When the family relocated to the French countryside, Ewa decided to train as a classical chef. Now that Filip is working in Cardiff, Ewa has set up Rue de la Cocotte – and she’s been selected to compete on the Milford Waterfront against the 15 best traders in Wales. Judged by the legendary Stephen Terry from the Hardwick and just as legendary Simon Wright – ex head of the AA Guide.
They will be lined up alongside vans, trucks and trailers offering up foods from all over the world. Italian for instance. Plus Malay, Venezuelan, Indian — and, of course, modern Welsh. Other it’s barbecued beef or the finest, freshest fish. But Ewa is determined to remain calm. Winning at the Welsh Street Food Awards, then competing at the finals of the British Street Food Awards at Street Feast’s Hawker House in London and – maybe – the finals of the European Street Food Awards with Bite Club in Berlin – is all in a day’s work for her. Her advice to new traders? “If you have an idea which you want to implement, keep doing it and don’t give up too early. Some things need time, rely on your intuition!” Go Ewa.