The Food Revolution

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Forget going clubbing on a Saturday night, those in the know are swapping their fancy heels for forks. Why? Because of Urban Food Fest. Founded in 2013, this weekly extravaganza has the best in local produce, unusual delicacies and up and coming music. Sound intriguing? That’s what we thought so we sat down with founder and lawyer Jessica Tucker to find out more.

Can you explain the set-up of Urban Food Fest to us?
So there’s two parts of food fest, we have the street food night markets on Shoreditch High Street which consist of 15 food trucks and stalls which change each week and we have lots of different food including Peruvian skewers, Korean ramen burgers, pizzas and sliders. We have a bar with flowering cocktails, craft beer, prosecco, champagne and soft drinks. Everything on the bar changes each week too. The other side of Urban Food Fest is that we do a lot of private and corporate events. We’ve done some for Tate & Lyle and an event for Apple. We’ve also done wedding and birthdays and we did Henry Cavill’s (of Superman fame) birthday party.

Where did the idea of Urban Food Fest come from? 
I guess I just knew there was a big gap in the market for a street food market at night time which no one was really doing and which had different food each week, which had restaurant quality food at cheap prices and really cool craft beers and ciders.

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Is the sourcing something that’s really important to you?
Yes. Each dish is checked and tasted in advance. All of the dishes are exclusive to the event and we’re very much in favour of locally sourced produce. Everything is usually prepared on the day then freshly cooked in front of the customers. And the same with the craft beers. For the Korean event we’re flying in Korean beers and getting in Korean vodka with the help of Korea Foods. Again it’s giving people the opportunity to try something different.

Have you seen an increase in different food trends?
Well Korean food is huge at the moment and there is a huge demand which made me think we had to do something. Another thing that’s super popular is Peruvian food. Everyone’s desperate to have it so we have a Peruvian stall selling what everyone’s heard about but don’t know where to get.

Urban Food Fest has been going for less than year and is growing at a rapid rate, what do you think the secret is to your success?
Hard work, dedication and a little bit of luck.

Was it important to you to have a live music section?
Yeah, we had it from day one because I think on a Saturday night people want to have a bit of music, even if it’s just in the background. It’s a great platform for up and coming musicians to come and play with us and we have a lot of music execs coming to the events.

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You’re one of the few street food festivals to have a dedicated vegetarian and vegan section, was it a conscious decision to create this?
Yeah. London is full of vegans and veggies and we always have lots of options. For example we’ve had a gluten-free pizza, vegan brownies, quinoa burgers. We don’t want it all to be meat; we want people to have options.

You’ve been nominated for The British Street Food Awards. What would winning mean to you and the rest of the team?
Obviously it would be fantastic. We’ve actually won quite a lot but anything we win or any press we’re featured in we’re very proud of. It’s just a real honour. For me to think we’ve got a brand out there that I created on the back of a napkin originally is quite amazing. The New York Times have been in touch with us and a guy from Korea even flew over for the Korean event. I can’t quite believe it all, it’s a bit surreal.

What’s next for Urban Food Fest?
I guess focusing on the corporate events and more themed street markets. It’s definitely in the plan to take it elsewhere.

Find out more about Urban Food Fest and Korea Foods.

Get ready for a night out in Shoreditch with these comfy kicks:

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