Why did you enter the awards?
I entered the awards because I wanted to showcase my cooking in a competitive environment. I get a lot of good feedback from the food I have made generally, so I thought I would have a good chance of impressing whoever I was cooking for.
Street food has become so broad, how did you decide what to cook?
Street food comes in all shapes, sizes, flavours and combinations. I always knew my signature dish would have to be something to do with jerk. I have created my own jerk marinade, which has been a success in terms of how well it has been received, so I basically worked my dish around that.
How do you stay calm under pressure when competing?
I have a very calm and laidback nature and that helps me cope under pressure. My personal motto is ‘don’t worry about it, just do it’.
Why has street food become so popular?
Street food is popular because it’s no nonsense food – you know what you’re going to get. There are no gimmicks, no surprises – mostly! – you get exactly what it says on the tin, and the simplicity of it plays a major part in its appeal.
How do you get street food onto your menus at work?
Street food is always a winner, so having these dishes on the menu at work is a no-brainer. It will always do well, so we are encouraged to keep coming up with new ideas for our guests.
What effect has it had on contract catering?
Street food has had a massive effect on contract catering, as it opens the door for lots of opportunities. It broadens the menus and the customers get to have their favourite ‘outdoor’ food in their establishment.
Did you enjoy the competition?
The competition was very good for me. I was quite nervous to begin with, but when I got started that went out of the window. I was not sure what to expect, but now I have a taste for it, I would gladly go back and do it again – and hopefully come back stronger!
What’s next in the world of street food?
I think the street food scene will continue to evolve. There are a lot of talented and clever chefs and companies who will continue to build and create new ideas. As far as food trends go I can see jerk growing in popularity, as people become more aware of how delicious these dishes are.