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We are very excited about this weekend’s Foodies Festival at Inverleith Park…although after the summer we seem to be having the Monkfish wellies are at the ready…. As well as all the usual food-tastic happenings at the festival this year you will see and experience Street Food Avenue featuring some established street food vendors and some newbies too. To drum up the excitement of the Street Food vendors and their ‘food trucks’ we’ve been out and about interviewing a few of them to see what makes their food so ‘street’…

First up, Toni from the Backyard Company, Wales…

Inspired by his Grandmother’s cooking in rural Jamaica Toni set up the Backyard Company in Newport, Wales which embraces traditional Jamaican cooking methods using only the finest and freshest ingredients.  With great success at last year’s Foodies Festival Toni is coming back for more and is hoping to tickle your tastebuds with his authentic Jamaican Jerk sauces. Toni’s ethos is to use the best quality ingredients he can source from his local suppliers and farmers (with the exception of a few Jamaican spices…) and all of his recipes are based on his grandmother’s principles.  With absolutely ‘no additives’ your food conscience can rest easy. ‘Our products do not contain any nasty bits like additives, colourings and preservatives. Its De Real Ting!’.

On the back of his festival success Toni will soon be opening his first restaurant, the ‘Duchy Jamaican Jerk Shack’ which will be based on a traditional Jamaican Shack. It’s the first of its kind in the UK and Toni said that it will be something quite different and will deliver ‘real, proper, good food’.  Hurrah for that, sounds amazing. Please say hi to Toni this weekend, he loves a good banter and audience participation for him makes his festival weekends worthwhile.

In the meantime find him on Twitter here @TheBackYardComp and Facebook here Backyard Jamaican Jerk Sauces

And at this weekend’s festival you can see Toni present a Food Masterclass each day at 5:15, be there!

Next, JP from Elephant Juice Food Company, Edinburgh…

JP Campbell set up the Elephant Juice Food Company in January 2012…fed up with his job in corporate insolvency and with a love for all things ‘food’ he invested in ‘Dumbo 1’ a 1974 Citreon H van from France and his soup company was born…

Serving soup in the early days JP has now branched out to breakfast and dinner service, something which hopefully the Edinburgh Festival goers will embrace. Based in George Square he has a permanent pitch and has already built up a solid trade of locals who support him and the lovely Dumbo.

What’s different about JP’s business is it’s ethical philosophy of ‘one feeds two’ and this is at the heart of the company. Elephant Juice Food Co partners with organisations running grassroots projects intended to develop individuals suffering from severe poverty in order that they can become self-sustaining. JP will be in Africa this September to see where some of his money has gone – read more about it HERE.

So, what can we tell you about the food, let’s cut to the chase! Ms Monkfish was lucky enough to sample several of JP’s soups including Wasabi Pea (not too hot, the spice was just right), Haggis and Sweet Potato (a really good thick soup, just what we like) and Nacho Pot – not so much a soup, more of a meal in a pot, a lovely hearty chilli cooked with Crabbies Ginger Beer. All ingredients are sourced locally and bread is baked by Breadwinner. There are 4 soups on offer each day and JP is now offering 2 dinner options. Check the website for up to date menus. Considering JP only set out on his soup journey this year there’s no doubt about it, his soups are very good. To prove this point he’s hosting a Food Masterclass at this weekend’s Foodies Festival – you can see JP at 3.15 on Saturday and Sunday at his class ‘ Scrumptous soups and ethical street food’.

JP is very enthusiastic about the Street Food scene and hopes that Elephant Juice will be the start of a healthy interest in Food Trucks in Scotland. As avid supporters of underground dining and experiential dining we’re fully behind this too, come on Scotland, time to get your trucks on!

Join JP at the weekend and follow the Elephant Juice Food Company on Twitter @ejfoodco and on Facebook Elephant Juice Food.

And for more info about the Foodies Festival this weekend click below, let’s hope the sun has got his hat on, a Monkfish in wellies just ain’t a good look…..

Photo credits: Toni Smith, thanks to Toni Smith; Elephant Juice Food, thanks to JP and Corinna Campbell.

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