Ever wondered what happens to street food traders when the weather isn’t so good?
If we hadn’t already noticed, the autumn equinox is now firmly upon us, with the Atlantic ‘jet-stream’ about to unleash an unstoppable and constant barrage of wet and windy weather.
How then, do Street food traders cope when the wind and rain picks up?
Those pretty (but flimsy) gazebo tents are nice, but would never stand up to a bit of wind and rain, not to mention a force 5 gale.
So, what then can Chefs do that want to continue trading and serving their loyal clientele, but don’t wish to be blown away by the cold, wind and rain..?
Well, StreetCube has the answer. A 10ft up-cycled, sea-going shipping container sustainable Street kitchen!
When Pascal Gerrard looked at the problem of junk-food outlets dominating our high streets, and how most are identical burger chains offering the same unhealthy choices, he considered how real chefs can compete in such expensive locations. City centres are hardly the cheapest locations to trade, with expensive rents and rates and premiums and staff costs etc.
Even food trucks can be expensive. But one of the other factors that Pascal looked at, was how to bring some individuality, pride and passion back into the ‘food-to-go’ market, as all chain eateries employ zero-hours staff, which is unlikely to be conducive to giving the best in customer experience. Meaning, that if you’re just a casual member of staff, you’re going to care less about the customer than you would if you were running your own business.
That’s when Pascal looked at finding a way to bring Good chefs back into city centres, without it costing a fortune, but giving the chef that professional space, a safe and hygienic – weatherproof kitchen that any proud and passionate chef can perform from, and have that direct interaction with his audience.
Of course in some ways, this was already happening with the evolving street food scene, but how do you give Street food that upgrade, to a more permanent, safe and secure, hygienic weatherproof kitchen, without it costing a fortune.?
The most important opportunity here, thought Pascal, is to give the chef the chance to serve better, more sustainable, more nutritious food, instead of the usual fast-food, street food offerings.
That’s when StreetCube was born. The idea was to place a 10ft sea-going, weatherproof, steel shipping container box, which could be converted into a high-end Street kitchen. What’s more, it could potentially be powered by solar electricity, and become a symbol of a more sustainable food future.
That’s precisely what StreetCube is.!
In Wandsworth, there are already 2 of these incredible cubes – already trading. In fact, they are so popular, they attracted he attention of one of the world’s most sustainable masterchefs, Raymond Blanc ~ who attended the launch in May.
The incredible kitchens are literally made from 10ft shipping containers. They have organic living walls growing on the sides, which Pascal says are a real attraction for people as they try to identify the many herbs growing there. In one row, we even have tomatoes growing, and in another we have wild strawberries.
StreetCube has turned a lot of heads since it’s launch, and for good reason – the innovative start up team which now includes Raymond Blanc’s son Olivier Blanc, and has attracted some of London’s most popular operators and chefs, from number one Trip Advisor rated Amrutha Box, to award winning Cento UNO. The project has gone from strength to strength.
“We have been invited to install StreetCube kitchens into Central London” says Pascal – “which is fantastic, because it means that our chefs can interact and engage with more communities the benefits of sustainable food. Currently, our food industry contributes more than 35% of all greenhouse gas emissions, it is StreetCube’s aim to pass on critical information with every meal we serve, about how to be more sustainable with food.”
The kitchens are open every day in front of SouthSide shopping precinct in Wandsworth High Street, and shoppers and passers-by can enjoy some delicious ‘sustainable’ Street Gastronomy from as little as just £6!
Watch this space for information on where StreetCube is heading next.
StreetCube ~ Good Food Doesn’t Have To Cost The Earth..