Licensees scoop British Street Food Award for smokehouse pop up

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Little Blue Smokehouse: Voted People’s Choice at the National Street Food Awards
Little Blue Smokehouse: Voted People’s Choice at the National Street Food Awards

Related tags: Sausage, Barbecue

A couple who run Shepherd Neame tenancy the Blue Anchor in Crowborough, East Sussex, have won a national street food award for their smokehouse pop up concept.

Martyn and Caroline Cotton's Little Blue Smokehouse picked up the People’s Choice honour at the British Street Food Awards, which took place at the three-day 'For the Love of Food' festival in Leeds at the end of September.

The Blue Anchor won Food Pub of Year at Shepherd Neame's annual awards in June.

The smokehouse was set up two years ago by the couple, who wanted to make their own bacon and smoked salmon.

In addition to ‘signature’ dishes – hot smoked pastrami, beef brisket and pulled pork – the stall offers locally-sourced game and more experimental cuts of meat.

Street Diner

The pop up, which has appeared at shows such as Food Rocks South, in Ardingly, West Sussex, and the Oxted Food & Drink Festival, in Surrey, operates from Street Diner – Brighton’s street food market – every Friday.

The People’s Choice award was voted on by members of the public who attended the Awards.

Caroline Cotton told Pub Food ​that the award would help them to grow the Little Blue Smokehouse business further.

She said: “To be given the People’s Choice award demonstrates that we’re heading in the right direction, and we want to take the business and grow it more.”

“We’re looking at more markets and more street food events to get our street food profile out there and really capitalise on what we want.”

On the lookout

When it came to the food offer, Cotton said they are “always on the lookout and always smoking new things and coming up with different recipes”.

She explained: “We tend to try and use what’s in season. We’re really lucky in that we’re on the edge of Ashdown Forest, so we tend to get plenty of game from there.

“At the awards, we took our smoked pigs cheeks, our oak smoked, stout braised ox​ cheek and our Bourbon-cured smoked shredded lamb.”

“We also took our smoker with us, which isn’t always possible at some events. More usually, we rely on a process of hot holding.”

“I don’t think we’re currently at the point where we can franchise the pop up out yet. But, in five years’ time, who knows?”

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