Street food traders are the same around the world. Big mouths. With a genuine passion for what they do – and a lot to say about it. They survive on their wits. But they only flourish with a killer menu. This summer, the very, very, very best traders from Europe will contest the 2024 European Street Food Awards with dishes that are truly game-changing. Read all about the 2023 finals here. In November we launched the USA Street Food Awards – and we’re now in talks about a Europe v USA food fight that will change the face of fast casual forever. But Europe is at the heart of everything….
Thousands applied for the European Street Food Awards in 2023. In 16 different countries. Hundreds competed. And the national champions travelled across the continent to impress our judges – and the general public – in Saarbrucken. Hosted by the genius Die Street Food Family, all weekend, in the late summer sunshine. They were the best street food traders in the whole of Europe – democratically elected. And their food impressed the heck out of EVERYONE…
Of course – this being the European Street Food Awards – there were ‘unforeseen circumstances’. It was the Norwegians again. In 2022 they arrived a day late, when Swedish customs decided to make a fuss about the lack of paperwork that accompanied their reindeer meat. And the Finns had to serve carrot and lichen soup – and not a lot else – when their elk sausages somehow got sent to the Netherlands. Last year the Norwegians had TWO blow outs on the motorway. But word about the event spread quickly. And it was all right on the night.
Sebastian Sandor was Head Judge. The Head Chef at the two Michelin-starred Louis restaurant at La Maison, he’s also held leading positions in starred hotels from the Schlosshotel Friedrichsruhe to Rüssels Landhaus in Naurath. We were VERY lucky to have him. We were also lucky to have Richard Johnson, founder of the British Street Food Awards, European Street Food Awards and USA Street Food Awards PLUS Andre Mampfta – a food blogger on the Franco-German border with a HUGE appetite AND the ESFA winner from 2019, Ranie Sirah from Jah Jyot.
But they had an unenviable job – choosing the Champion. And 12 other individual Awards. While everyone who came to the event was given a vote in the People’s Choice. It was a massive step up from last year. Street food is throwing up lots of new ideas and approaches to delicious, affordable, entertaining food – that comes with passion as standard – in our post-Covid world. These are the food heroes of tomorrow. Get involved in 2024 – as a competitor or a national heat organiser…..
You’ll get press attention from all round the world. We can talk about getting sponsors on board. Plus our team of writers will publish smart, witty stories about you and your finalists on www.europeanstreetfood.com and all our social channels. PLUS you’ll have editorial and reels from all the other competing countries to share on Facebook, twitter and instagram – engaging everyone with this exciting new competition. You’ll be issued with the official logos, in different formats, for your national Awards and the European Street Food Awards.
Hosting isn’t complicated. Your national Awards can be a new, standalone event, or an addition to an existing event. They can be across one or two days. At the outset you should put out a nationwide call for applications from traders, and choose the very best (minimum 8) to compete. We will set up a Facebook event page for the awards, and we’ll be cohosts. Use the official logo in the headers of your Facebook, twitter page and Instagram feed. Provide a full list of your finalists with some text on each one plus pictures. We will write about them, and share their stories on social media. We will circulate the details to all the other competing countries, and get an exciting chat going on all over Europe!
The judging is straightforward. Recruit a panel of industry experts/Michelin starred chefs/influencers etc, and allow them to come along to the event, try everything, and choose a winner using our standardized ESFA marking criteria:
Taste of the food – marked out of 60
Appearance of the trader’s van/truck/trailer – marked out of 20
Innovation/invention of the whole – marked out of 20
You can also allow the public to vote on their favourite and choose a SECOND winner. You can EITHER give people a paper vote as they come into the event, and get all the traders to make their own crazy ballot boxes where people can vote OR you can run an online vote. The judges’ choice and the people’s choice will both automatically be given a place at the finals of the European Street Food Awards. Other winners aren’t guaranteed a place, but may be chosen as one of the final’s wild cards (depending on space).
Finalists will need to bring their own kitchen/cooking facility to the European finals, where they will cook for the crowds (who will pay for their food at a street food extravaganza). We will only charge finalists a small pitch fee. You will need to offer your winners a prize of 500 Euros each to cover their costs of the travel to the finals and accommodation. This money should ONLY be given for their travel/accommodation to the finals once it has all been booked. Then there’s a small licence fee, the money to print your voting coupons (if you’re running a public vote), and two banners for on-site branding for your sponsors and/or the ESFA. In return you could make money from increased ticket sales, with free PR from your involvement in a super sexy new European competition and a guaranteed place in heaven. Win win win.