Crowds enjoyed the sunshine at the first Street Food Festival held at Alexander's Abbey Green Festival Gardens, off Northgate Street, Chester.

Visitors ate street food ranging from a Sunday lunch in a Yorkshire pudding through tapas and crocodile burgers to Jamaican  jerk chicken and insect  cocktails.

Bob Hadfield, photographer and co-organiser of the  event, said: “There were stalls from local restaurants, such as El Gato at the Blue Bell, as well as smaller Cheshire food businesses  from further afield.

“The concept is different from regular food festivals: the emphasis is on street food and also with the emphasis on healthy food.

“This is the way that  people like to eat today, and there are excellent vendors of great street food, and this is an opportunity for them  to show off their skills.”

The high spot of the day was a food challenge in  which the participants had to eat insect kebabs and perform physical challenges  like eating jam sponges  from a plate whilst tied by a bungee cord.

 

The winner of the food competition was Luke Johnson, a teenager who beat his  father Darren in the final.

Luke, of Willow Herb  Close, Huntington, said “I don't like chilli very much, so I was surprised to do well  in the four chili burger round, but I know that I can eat faster than most people.

“The compere was funny and Suzie kept adding salt to the food. It was really messy and I liked that.”

His father Darren commented that the insect kebabs were delicious, a view shared by all the competitors.

He said : “They tasted just  like Cheerios! It was really  good fun.”

There were also cookery  demonstrations and music  by four bands: Steve Oaks Jazz band, Mexicali Kind and The Kungfoo Lady; Matty H; and the New Indie Band.

Bob added: “I think a street food festival, like a ‘Fringe’, is just what Chester needs.

“Food festivals, like everything else in retail, are becoming much more mainstream and generally do not seem to celebrate local producers.

“There are great traders and micro businesses in the Chester area producing fantastic products that deserve a chance to showcase  their goods.

“We're glad that they enjoyed the day and that we can give them that platform.  A great day out for the visitor as well!”

The University of Chester’s food growth centre agrees, and the University is co-sponsor of the event. “Our developing innovation led micro food businesses need a showcase such as this, and we hope it will continue to grow.” said a spokesperson.