With street food in Birmingham set to see another stellar year, we thought it only right that we introduced you to one of the main men wielding tongs at this year's infamous Digbeth Dining Club. Check out what Andy Stubbs of Low 'N Slow had to say about street food in Birmingham and his place in it all:
'I started Low ‘N’ Slow 6 months ago after losing my job and not wanting to go back into a 9-5 boring factory job, i’ve always been obsessed with cooking big hunks of meat and feeding friends and family, over the years people have asked me to cater for parties and small events and told me I should do it full time, which I never thought could happen.
I started looking into the street food scene and realised that there wasn’t any body doing what i’m doing in my area and that street food would be a great way for me to push the food I love with out having to get into huge debt and opening a restaurant. Street food for me is so much more fun as I can interact with the people who buy my food and the whole scene we have in Birmingham is very friendly and sociable, all the traders have become friends and working doing something you love is one of the best things I could ever wish for!'
Street Food went wild in Birmingham back in 2013 from DDC down to Kings hEATth, why do you think that is and do you think 2014 is set to see an even tastier year? I feel that street food became so much more popular due to people being more aware of what they eat and wanting quality restaurant standard food but in more of a relaxed environment or on the go, young people are cooking more and are more conscious of where food comes from and how its cooked which is what streetfood is about, so mix this with the right setting and location and you have something unique, tasty and affordable.This year things will just grow and continue to expand, street food will be seen more oand more and hopefully be let into the city and to a wider audience.
So you’re known for your infamous pulled pork with smoked oak and hickory, but what beer would you recommend that people share with it? I'm more of a wine man my self, I like a nice bold cabernet sauvignon australia barossa valley. but if I was to pick a beer i'd go with something like a Brooklyn Brewery beer, something quite hoppy and full flavoured.
You called your company Low ‘n’ Slow for a reason, so Andy, just how slow should be we cooking our meat for optimum flavour? The lower and the slower the better, I smoke my pork at 110c for 18 hours, but for normal people who dont have a day to cook their dinner you can get great results cooking things like pork shoulder or brisket at around 160c for 5 or 6 hours. The longer it takes the meat to cook combined with the low temp the better the meat will be.
If you could serve your street food to anyone in the world, who would it be and why? Hmmm, I think I would love Andrew Zimmern from the 'Bizarre Foods' programme to try my food, not because my food is bizarre but because of the way he describes food and his passion for it, I know he is a great lover of real smoked BBQ so that would be pretty cool to get his opinion!
We don’t want Birmingham punters to miss out, so where can we expect to find you cooking this year? My main event that you can find me at monthly is Digbeth Dining Club, I will also be doing my new street market once every two weeks and the Brindleyplace market when that starts again with Sketts markets, I want to build that up and have some where regular people can come and get my food, i'm going to be doing a loyalty card for my markets to so look out for that.
If you were given the opportunity come up with your own street food festival this summer, what would it include? And don’t be shy on the details, the more fairground rides and coconut shy’s the better, right? Ermmm, I wouldn't say fair ground rides and coconut shy's haha, if I could put on an event on it would have all my fave traders from Birmingham working there, no clashes of food just good honest locally sourced home cooked amazing food. It would also incorporate my love for Hip-Hop and have DJ's and MC's there with live graffiti/art from my fave artists, I would also fly in my favourite rapper from a certain borough of New York to do a cooking demo and perform there; I wont give to much away though as this is something i'm working on doing already so watch this space. There would also be copious amounts of brandy available ;-)