Throughout summer 2017, there will be national championships in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Sweden, France and the UK, with more to be announced.
The finalists – plus a few wildcards chosen by industry experts ‒ will then battle it out in Berlin for the title of European Street Food champion, at the city’s street food hub Bite Club on the Kreuzberg riverside.
Members of the public will be asked to vote for their favourite entry via the new European Street Food smartphone app, which will also feature a GPS map showing who is trading when.
A party will follow the final, featuring DJs, a floating bar, fire pits and a programme of food seminars.
The ESFAs come from the same team as the British Street Food Awards (BSFAs), which were founded in 2010 and pitch British street food groups against each other in five gruelling heats ahead of a live, national cook-off judged by the public and Michelin-starred chefs.
“Street food is taking over,” says Richard Johnson, founder of the ESFAs. “And that’s because we are choosing to eat in different ways. Sometimes we don’t want a fixed starter-main-dessert-style menu any more – we want a bit of this and a bit of that.
“It’s flirty, low-commitment dining, and it’s why pop-ups and street food have become so popular. It’s a much nicer way to eat.”
He adds: “This new way of eating is all about coming together and sharing food [and] in a world like ours, that feels like a positive message right now.”