At this year’s Casual Dining show McCain worked with some of London’s hottest street food traders, who put the new Staycrisp Skin-on Thin Fries through their paces. Here’s a little bit from them below or want to watch them in action, click here.
Teejay Asick - Cheeky Italian
Q: How did you get into street food? What is your specialty/what kind of food do you cook?
I was a chef for 10 years before I heard about the street food movement. As soon as I did I moved over to France, bought a van and set up shop. Our slogan is ‘twist on tradition’ because we like to take traditional dishes from different parts of the world and put our own twist on them.
Q: What do you think of the new McCain Foods Signatures Staycrisp Fries? What toppings make the ultimate Staycrisp topped fries?
They’re fantastic; I’ve been using them for about four months now. We used them all throughout our stint at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and they performed incredibly well. They work well with any mixed herby rub, and we also love flavoured salts. Cover a chip with sauce and it will inevitably go a bit soggy, so for the ultimate chips, we stick with dry rubs.
Q: What do your customers think of the new Staycrisp Fries? Do Staycrisp Fries help to make your job easier?
Our customers are definitely impressed. I don’t think they can tell that we use frozen chips. We like to use the Staycrisp Skin-on Fries – they give our dishes a rustic edge that our customers really enjoy. Staycrisp have a lovely coating which means they hold really nicely under heat lamps and stay crispy for longer. We used to use one of McCain’s main competitors, but McCain’s Staycrisp Fries are much better. They’re crunchier, they cook quicker and the herb mix we use to coat them sticks to the fries beautifully.
Q: You’ll be serving your own specially topped Staycrisp Fries at the McCain stand at this year’s Casual Dining Show. Is this your first time at the show? How will you be topping your fries?
Yep, it’s my first time at the show - I’m expecting great food and a few surprises. We’ll be serving Italian Beef Poutine - slow cooked Hereford beef, oozy cheese sauce on herby fries topped with pickled red onions and crispy rosemary.
Q: What were the biggest new food trends you noticed emerging in 2016, and what predictions do you have for this year?
Fries were big in 2016; topped fries, poutine, chilli cheese fries. In 2017 street food will definitely continue to be a big part of the casual dining industry; top chefs are getting involved in the street food scene because it provides a different avenue for chefs to express their creativity and stops them being tied to a table or a kitchen. I can also see comfort food leading the way in 2017 - more and more traders are experimenting with hearty, feel good food.
Ed Jones - The Ed Chef
Q: How did you get into street food? What is your specialty?
By chance really. I just took a job and fell in love with it. I knew straightaway that it was for me. Speciality is a tricky question, but I’d have to say I get the most compliments for my jerk chicken.
Q: What do you think of the new McCain Foods Signatures Staycrisp Fries?
They’re better than anything else out there - nothing is as good as Staycrisp. The consistency is the best thing for me and they do what they’re meant to, they stay crisp.. Staycrisp hold better which is a big thing and means a quicker service, and more portions out of the kitchen. If you’re cooking at a festival with massive queues you need something that will maintain its quality if you want to keep up with demand and keep customers happy!
Q: What toppings make the ultimate Staycrisp topped fries?
Less is more when it comes to topping chips. Something creamy and saucy is a must, along with some seasoning, but I steer clear of pickles, the flavour is too harsh.
Q: Is this your first time at the Casual Dining Show? What are you expecting, and how will you be topping your fries?
Yes, it’s my first time - I’m expecting lots of people enjoying free chips! It’s going to be busy, who turns down free chips? Especially with the toppings we’ve got planned. I’ll be serving Truffle Shuffle Fries, which combine truffle oil, garlic, homemade mayo and pecorino, finished off with chopped parsley. The ingredients combine so well - lovely creamy, salty, crisp and fresh flavours.
Q: What predictions do you have for the casual dining and street food industries this year?
Street food will continue to be a big part of the casual dining industry, and I expect a lot more residencies in pubs and restaurants for street food traders. Street food as an industry in its own right is still growing, and I predict we’ll see loads more traders and locations popping up this year.