Street Food Hero – Low ‘n’ Slow

Over the last few years the burgeoning street food scene has really taken off.  Events such as Digbeth Diner and Brum Yum Yum have seen record numbers of people across their threshold.

So, over the next few months I am going to introduce you to a few of these fearless culinary buccaneers, and tell you where to find them.

First up is a man with a real success story.  Andy Stubbs went from disgruntled warehouse person to food hero in just over a few months.  I met him in New Street food market the other day, and this is his story:

Firstly, what were you doing before you got into street food?

I spent my days day dreaming of doing food and hiding from bosses at a dead end factory job wiring electrical panels here in the Midlands, to say I hated what I did is an understatement. I have always longed to do something creative and that I have a passion about but without the correct education or funding, it never seemed possible.

Secondly, how did you get started? What help and support did you get?

I got started after I got made redundant (yeah, as everyone does, I know).  I’d been out of work doing bits of building and window fitting work for about six months when someone said that there was a course you can do through the Job Centre that will help build a business plan.

This gave me an idea that I could maybe open a food trailer at a business park or something like that. I have been cooking for friends and family for years and years and spent all my spare time and money on ingredients to cook for my girlfriend and learn new skills.

I attended the course and ideas grew until I discovered the street food scene in Birmingham. Then I  went to meet Jack at Digbeth Dining Club for ideas help and advice, Jack, Alan and Mark of NCASS all helped me a great deal to turn my ideas into a reality and it grew from there...

What equipment do you use to cook your product?

I use two smokers; I use the Pro Q frontier and the Weber Smoky Mountain, both are used with restaurant grade lump wood, British oak and imported American Hickory. I also use a BBQ guru forced draft system on the frontier. If I don’t smoke I simply use a huge stock pot and cook on the hob, no slow cookers in sight!

What events do you regularly attend?

Digbeth Dining Club is my home, I love that place you can find me dancing and drinking red wine there most Fridays.  If I’m not working there, I am a regular at Brum Yum Yum in Kings Heath, which I enjoy trading at. I do a market twice a month every other Wednesday at New Street Birmingham and pop up in different places. Follow me on Twitter (@andylowandslow) as I always post where I am trading.

Give me a good horror story?

Me at 3am when it’s raining and the smoker is running low on coals, trainers and shorts, hung over cussing at the smoker as I fill it back up with coal and choke on wood smoke.  Now that ain’t a pretty sight!

You can find Andy Stubbs in the places mentioned above. Online, he is on Twitter @andylowandslow and Facebook.

Words and photos by chef Nick Gilmartin who can be contacted on @Nick1975 or find out more here.