Our development chef Tony Lones is a finalist in the StrEATfood Awards, which searches for the UK’s most creative street food chef from the workplace and event catering sectors.

The competition invites caterers, chefs, food/menu development chefs and unit managers from contract caterers and staff restaurants to present their street food innovations to the industry.

The 16 finalists will compete in a series of challenges at London’s Shenley Club on Wednesday,  September 29, starting with cooking their signature dish in front of the judges, before creating a technical dish from a specific selection of ingredients that will be supplied on the day.

Tony said he decided to enter the contest for the pleasure of competing, to improve his skills and knowledge and for a chance to meet up with his peers in the catering industry.

‘Street food is a multi-ethnic popular food style which is rich in history and culture,’ he said.

‘During the last 20 years it has become the fastest growing food culture in Britain and it has brought the streets of every major city in the world to our towns and cities.

‘It allows us, as a multi-ethnic nation, to bring people and cultures together. It supports community relations and commercial enterprise and, most of all, allows us as foodies to improve our techniques while cooking the tastiest, most colourful foods from across the world.

‘And, for us to be market leaders in our industry, it is important we understand, replicate and progress our knowledge and skillset to stay ahead of the competition. Also, the food is incredibly fun to create.’

In order to get thorough to the final Tony had to impress the judges by creating a signature dish and a technical dish based around the ingredients provided by the competition’s sponsors, who include Britvic, Quorn, Italian brewing company Birra Moretti and St Pierre Bakery.

It is the second year Tony has reached the final. ‘In the first year I was a finalist I realised I was up against the industry’s best,’ he said.

‘It is completely different to any previous competitions I have entered. In those you would be preparing more than 90 per cent of your dishes on site.

‘But in this contest you need to think on your feet more and design your dish so it can be mostly produced beforehand and completed in a very tight time schedule, so it can be finished on time with excellent presentation.

‘I cannot wait to take part again!’

For more details of the competition visit: https://h2opublishing.co.uk/streatfood-awards