Viva la Vegan: Venezuelan Petare take home the carrot at Kings Cross' Livin' on the Veg
PUBLISHED: 16:15 21 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:09 22 August 2017
Venezuelan chip butty brings home the proverbial at Vegan street food extravaganza
On the weekend, eight street food vendors took to the streets of King’s Cross’ Granary Square to battle it out for Kerb’s coveted Golden Carrot. The second of Kerb’s street food trilogy, Livin’ on the Veg saw each vendor prepare a signature dish for the sold out competition on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 August.
Accompanied by DJ’s and bars, the traders came from far and wide across London. Based in Hackney, Lemlem Kitchen offered a surprising African twist on vegan street food. Their Timtimo split pea afro-taco was served with spicy red cabbage, ginger slaw and pickled chillies, served on sourdough flatbread, or injera.
Also Hackney locals, runners up Temple of Seitan offered the closest thing to KFC, a fried ‘chicken’ slider with agave mustard glaze. Their junk food approach was matched by Biff’s Jack Shack, who fried up jackfruit buffalo wings with maple bourbon sauce, blue ‘cheese’, slaw and peach.
Brick Lane regulars Eat Chay prepared a delectable Korean BBQ baguette, known as Bahn Mi, stuffed with crispy seitan, a wheat gluten meat substitute. The grub was paired with a mushroom walnut pate, pickled carrots, parsnips and sriracha mayonnaise.
Kerb served up two flavourful curry offerings. Spice Box prepared a charred tandoori cauliflower steak drenched in makhani and accompanied by coriander chutney, homemade pickles and naan. Competitor Greedy Khao barked back with a Thai red curry beefed up with tofu and butternut squash, sesame slaw and rice.
Sweet toothed guests were satisfied eventually by Young Vegans’ sublimely rich chocolate peanut butter mud pie.
However, the victor was reigning champion and winner of Kerb’s fried chicken extravaganza, Petare. Despite that Venezuelan chef Rotsen Ibarra had prepared neither chicken nor vegan food prior to Kerb’s battles, the vendor conquered with a plant-based chip butty. Cassava chips, fried plantain and avocado were stuffed inside maize dough, known as arepa, drizzled with garlic sauce and vegan feta.
Eight meals down and a lifetime of calories consumed in one evening, Kerb’s vegan food fiesta triumphed, convincing even the non-vegans amongst the crowds that plant-based living could be just as tasty, if not more, than animal-based alternatives.