If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area you probably know about the street food craze. Secretive food carts all over the city (mostly San Francisco) operate under the radar of authorities and post their whereabouts on twitter. This recession has sparked a reverence for scrappy, can-do, self-reliant individuals. As chefs were elevated to rock stars over the past decade, food cart operators are the new idols in the food world.
So now we have not one, but two festivals to honor the food of the street and the people who create it. The photos here are all from the San Francisco Street Food Festival last week. Put on by La Cocina, a business incubator for food concerns, it started as a way to help mostly immigrant women who had under-the-radar tamale selling businesses and the like go legit. La Cocina has been around for several years now doing great work and now there's a whole new generation of small-scale street food purveyors.
This week launches the Eat Real Fest in Oakland–similar vibe, more ambitious undertaking. Three days of activities including movies, dinners, a market area, as well as a slew of street cart and taco truck food. I'll be there at the Foraging & Canning Exchange on Friday doing a fermentation demo. I think it will be hard not to hang around the festival all weekend one way or another. Maybe I'll see you there.
In other news: If you pick up a copy of the current Eating Well Magazine (Sept-Oct issue) you'll find 6 great new recipes for beans by yours truly and an article by Steve Sando about sourcing heirlooms. It's nice to break into a food mag finally. Enjoy and let me know how you like it.
Enjoy the following street food pictures and Happy Eating!