Mac Love will be flying the flag for Tayside and Fife when top street food vendors from across Scotland compete to be crowned the best in the country.
Taking place over the weekend of June 25-27 at The Pitt in Edinburgh, many of the country’s best-loved street food vendors will come together to compete in a weekend of cooking to be crowned in the Scottish Street Food Awards 2021.
With the potential for there to be two winners, with both a public vote and a judges’ vote coming into play across the weekend, the vendors who win at the Scottish awards will go on to compete in the British final in September.
Members of the public who visit the competition in Edinburgh across the weekend will be offered the opportunity to sample food from many of Scotland’s street food traders, and then asked to vote for their favourite upon leaving the venue.
This, along with a panel of expert street food judges (Ailidh Forlan, author of Street Food Scotland, and award-winning chefs Stuart Ralston from Aizle and Noto, and Campbell Mickel from Merienda) also choosing a winner, will help to decide the ultimate Scottish street food champions.
Jo Doherty, from Mac Love, a macaroni cheese-based vendor who can be found between Tayport and Newport-on-Tay, is delighted that her business has been invited to compete in the awards.
She said: “We were delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist. We decided to enter the Scottish Street Food Awards 2021 as we felt that our business had come a long way in such a short time.
“For us, winning would signify the hurdles we have overcome while trying to start our street food business during a pandemic. However, just being a part of the awards is enough. We’re looking forward to meeting other great vendors and having the craic!”
As Scotland’s street food scene has been thriving during recent months, particularly as it was one of the few types of hospitality businesses that was able to operate under the various restrictions that were implemented throughout the year of the pandemic.
“The Scottish street food scene is vibrant and exciting right now!” added Jo.
“It has been a very uncertain and unexpected year for many businesses, with many being forced to adapt in order to be able to carry on. The street food scene in Scotland has played an important role for many in maintaining a sense of community, in an isolating time.”
Richard Johnson, who is organising the street food awards in Scotland, Wales and England over the next few months, explained the important role that the general public will have in deciding the winners.
“There will be at least two winners from the event – a people’s choice and a judges choice. Everyone who comes along will be issued with a vote and will be encouraged to go around and try their favourites. Then people will vote for their favourite before they leave.
“Those votes will get added up over the three days and the winner gets declared at the end.
“There will be a £3 entry fee to the event so that we are able to control numbers and prevent crowding inside and making the event Covid-safe. Visitors to the event will also have to buy any food they want to try from the traders, which is why we’ve asked them to do smaller, tasting portions that are cheaper than their usuals.
“The Scottish awards also act as a heat for the British final – as we will have other heats happening in Wales and two in England. We will probably have about 16 or 17 spaces at the British finals in Hull in September, so there will be a couple of extra wild cards chosen from across the heats that didn’t win their event.
“Normally the winner of the British finals would then go on to compete in Europe, but unfortunately, this year with the virus, it’s just not going to happen.”
Other vendors taking part in the Scottish finals include Gallus Streetfood, Wanderers Kneaded, Stag Bites the Hog, Fat Flamingo, Taberu, Antojitos Truck, Smokey Trotters Kitchen, Pakora Explorer, Soulfull Grub, Free the Chilli, Smoke And Soul, and The Peruvian.