Boasting artisan chow with attitude, Digbeth Dining Club has propelled itself into one of the best street food events in Birmingham. But who on this darn delicious earth is behind such an award winning endeavour? We spoke to the chap putting Birmingham on the UK street food map, Jack Brabant:
Tell us a little about yourself and Digbeth Dining Club. Fun-loving foodie who stumbled into street food a few years ago through work and I haven’t looked back since… Digbeth Dining Club is our friendly, weekly mixture of the best street food in the Midlands and music from top local DJ’s, it’s the perfect way to start the weekend in our opinion!
Street food is markedly different from sit down dining, and Birmingham’s taken to it like water off of a duck’s back. Why do you think it’s made such a mark in the city, so suddenly since 2012? Street food traders prove that food can be prepared and cooked fantastically well and at a reasonable price, so why wouldn’t you want a piece of that? Its far more relaxed and more communal than a restaurant in my opinion, you can come on your own or in a group and have an enjoyable night out.Birmingham is really embracing its position as a foodie destination and I like to think we play our part in the fabric of the city with DDC. It’s a reflection of Brummies love of food and searching out a completely different experience.
What do you think is so unique about the traders that come to an event like Digbeth Dining Club? We like to pride ourselves on only working with the best traders and you can see it in the end product. Everyone who appears at DDC get on there for the product they serve. But not only that they have personality, a bit of showmanship and love their customers. The customer is what comes first really.
Are there any heralded global street food events that DDC aspires to? Spending a lot of my life in Greece and Spain you see that street food is part and parcel of life there and I think that goes for most of the world, and I learnt from that. We caught on late in the UK but for DDC, UK events like Street Feast were a big influence. I love the US scene though, Off the Grid in San Francisco in particular is something that we aspire too, and it’s a scene that’s taking off in London now, so keep your eyes peeled…
Street food is fun, cultural, and heck, it’s a little flirty. But what’s your favourite part about street food as a whole? The communal feeling of it. It doesn’t matter what background you are from, everyone appreciates good food. I love being at DDC and seeing people talking to a complete stranger about how good the food they have just eaten, its infectious.
You’re taking to The Rainbow Arena for the British Street Food regional heats rather than your regular Spotlight plot this May. But what’s important to you when it comes to a DDC venue? Keep May 2nd in your diary, we’ve gone all out for this and along with Madame Moonshine, Rainbow and Global Gathering, being part of the Made Festival we’ve been able to put on a party that befits our style.I hate this phrase but street food is a bit more edgy than your regular eatery and that’s why I fell in love with Spotlight, it had the Berlin/East London vibe. I just don’t think you can create the same thing in the suburbs. Look at the best events across the UK and they are all in industrial areas, it feels like it shouldn’t be there having the best food! For me you walk into Spotlight and you cant believe its in there, it’s a dirty little secret. Shout out to James (business partner), Keith and the Spotlight & Rainbow crew for what they have created. We are all constantly looking at new ideas on how to improve and from May you will see Next Door opened with more seating and musical entertainment.
You’ve got a van and a cuisine of your picking. What street food do you think you’d trade in if you yourself had a plot at DDC? Actually looked in to this a couple of years ago. Got all the forms for fishing licenses to catch American crayfish, but there are so many rules and regulations didn’t pursue it...one of those drunken ideas! So if it was easy, Crayfish stand I reckon, served with a glass of bubbly to add a touch of class….
Look, we don’t want you to pick favourites, but we’re going to ask you to anyway. If there are any traders that you think we should be trying this summer at DDC, who are they? No chance, as I would get lynched! Everyone at DDC is there on merit and my favourite changes every week. It’s why we rotate so if you come down every week, you get something different. Sorry to sit on the fence. But we have some new traders coming this summer, so get down and support the new guys on the block!
If you could describe DDC in a sentence for people that have never been before, what would it be? Fun foodie frolics on a Friday night…then dance!
Don't miss Digbeth Dining Club hosting their biggest event yet this May 2nd as they present the British Street Food Regional Heat at The Rainbow.