10 QUESTIONS WITH: Chris Brumby, owner and chef at MYPIE

Chris Brumby is the owner and chef cooking up the epic pies and awesome sides over at street food truck MYPIE; their pies in general made it onto London Cheap Eats, but team member Kar-Shing is a particular fan of the double beef.

We threw a few tasty questions Chris's way; here's what he had to say.

Chris Brumby with the nifty MYPIE truck

Chris Brumby with the nifty MYPIE truck

1. Tell us briefly what your business is about

Quality British-styled food, with my Australian heritage bringing some influence to the flavours.

2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.

I'm a trained chef. I did a four year apprenticeship in a Michelin equivalent (we don't have stars in Aus), and was Head Chef at 23 at The Horseshoe (Camden brewery home).  I also did a short stint with Street Kitchen in 2012, and more recently in 2014, I was the Executive Chef at Ben's Canteen.

3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?

It would be a Tuesday night, a couple of beers and I'd be hustling a group of friends over a game of poker in a pub in Wandsworth - occasionally winning!

4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu? 

I'd been to a "foodie" festival on Clapham Common and had a very average pie and mash, with peas from a tin, that was £8. I knew I could do better, and after much trial and error, we've managed a better pie with better mash, better gravy, and definitely better peas.

5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.

I'm a VW Camper enthusiast. I've owned two in the UK - I drove the first to Rome, and in 2014 I circumnavigated France in the other. Pretty helpful when you get to the vineyards.

epic pie with sides from MYPIE

epic pie with sides from MYPIE

6. What's the most popular item on your menu?

Hampshire steak with red jalapeños and smoked cheddar is easily our most popular pie - it was a request from a customer and we've never looked back. It just won a silver medal at the British Pie Awards.

7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?

When I'm off work I always eat with my family - anything from curry to pizza - mostly home cooked and often with vegetables that we've grown in our garden. Keep an eye out for some home grown veg in the salads over summer.

8. What's next for your business?

The next thing for our business is to launch MySaladBox in early April, which has been born purely from the uptake of salads as a side from the pie truck. It'll be four salads - changing often - and adding whatever you like, an egg, a piece of steak, chicken... 

9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

I can't narrow this to three, it's got to be four. Adam my brother, Dave, Shane, and Jim (who is also my business partner). Four great blokes from Tasmania, who I'd rather have beers with than anyone famous. Great stories and great entertainment.

10. What’s your favourite London cheap eat?

My favourite London cheap eat is without a doubt Hanks Po' Boys - the poor boy. Just don't eat it while driving. Not a good look. 

 

Liked this? Then you'll probably enjoy our previous interviews too:

10 QUESTIONS WITH: The Rib Man, Mark Gevaux
10 QUESTIONS WITH: proprietor of Flour to the People!, Adam Demosthenous
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founders of Arancini Brothers, Big Dave and Little Dave
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Pilpel and Badolina, Uri Dinay

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Street Kitchen, Mark Jankel
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Monty's Deli, Mark Ogus
10 QUESTIONS WITH: owner of Park Road Kitchen, Sam Mousawi
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of The Bell & Brisket, Bel Shapiro

10 QUESTIONS WITH: The Rib Man, Mark Gevaux

Mark Gevaux - also known as The Rib Man - is the force behind this Brick Lane and West Ham United FC street food stalwart. Mark's iconic slow-cooked pork rib roll made it onto our list of London Cheap Eats.  

We had a good old natter with Mark, here's what he told us.

Mark Gevaux aka The Rib Man

Mark Gevaux aka The Rib Man

1. Tell us briefly what your business is about

My business is really just about me doing something I love that I started to keep me sane after losing my leg in 2005.

2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.

I trained as a butcher since I was 12 and have always loved meat - cutting it, cooking it, and eating it. 

3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?

If you found me out in London, I'd be somewhere like Zelman Meats in Soho - AMAZING meat and fantastic staff. 

4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu? 

The inspiration for my food came from my customers. I started out at farmers markets selling baby back ribs for people to take home and cook. Then I started cooking samples on a disposable BBQ, but people wanted to eat them straight away. And so, The Rib Man was born.

5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.

An interesting fact about me that not many people know? I died two times after the car accident, apparently. I don’t remember seeing any white lights or anything. 

6. What's the most popular item on your menu?

The rib meat rolls are the most popular thing I do. On Brick Lane on a Sunday, it must be the most photographed sandwich in London. 

The Rib Man's rib meat roll with Holy Fuck sauce

The Rib Man's rib meat roll with Holy Fuck sauce

7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?

When I’m not working, I eat whatever my wife Carolina cooks, as long as I can put Holy Fuck on it - every single meal (Ed - Mark bottles and sells his hot sauces, Holy Fuck is one of them).

8. What's next for your business?

Next up for my business is to move with West Ham to the Olympic Park, and also wholesale my sauces and ribs.

9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

Bobby Moore to talk football, Richard Branson to talk business, and David Cameron to talk shit. Not really - I wouldn't even serve him on my stall. 

10.What’s your favourite London cheap eat?

My favourite London cheap eat, apart from a rib roll, would either be a Dead Hippie from Meat Mission, or an Angry Bear from Burger Bear

 

Liked this? Then you'll probably enjoy our previous interviews too:

10 QUESTIONS WITH: proprietor of Flour to the People!, Adam Demosthenous
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founders of Arancini Brothers, Big Dave and Little Dave
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Pilpel and Badolina, Uri Dinay
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Street Kitchen, Mark Jankel
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Monty's Deli, Mark Ogus
10 QUESTIONS WITH: owner of Park Road Kitchen, Sam Mousawi
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of The Bell & Brisket, Bel Shapiro

10 QUESTIONS WITH: proprietor of Flour to the People!, Adam Demosthenous

Adam Demosthenous from Flour to the People!

Adam Demosthenous from Flour to the People!

Adam Demosthenous and his sister are the sourdough specialists behind Battersea hit, and terrifically-named, Flour to the People! It's their marvelous margherita pizza that made it onto our list of London Cheap Eats.  

We had a lovely chat with Adam, here's what he had to say.

1. Tell us briefly what your business is about

Sourdough! From breakfast and brunch, to sandwiches and pizzas! We cultivate six ‘mother doughs’ or starters.  We also want to make as much as we can from scratch including butter, jams, marmalade, chocolate hazelnut spread, hollandaise, mayo, beans, and all our baked goods.

Our signature dish is our eggs Benedict served on homemade sourdough crumpets. The Neapolitan sourdough pizzas are made by a highly skilled pizzaiolo, who is over here learning English and teaching us. His previous role was as a teacher of pizzaiolos in Geneva and Napoli. 

2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.

My family are Cypriot and my sister and I spent many summers in Cyprus. My grandmother used to bake in an outside wood-fired oven and make sourdough bread regularly. Well, it was just called bread in those days. Artificial yeast was not used, as was the tradition of villages in Cyprus. These were informative years as I obviously loved whatever my grandmother baked and was curious. 

My parents owned various cafés and restaurants in London, and so we were raised working in this area. I personally studied music and worked in the voluntary and public sectors, but came back to the idea of running a café recently. Opening a sourdough bakery was an obvious starting point. My sister and I both own this place and have had a steep but enjoyable learning curve. 

3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?

Since opening Flour to the People! there has not been much time to enjoy all that London offers, preferring to relax with friends. Although I do have a BFI membership and try to watch what interests me. Concerts and theatre are also something I try to go to when I have the time.  

4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu? 

Initial research, visiting places that interested me. I have always wanted to open a good quality breakfast/brunch café. It’s hard to find a place that does a simple poached egg well!

We also have a collaborative approach to developing the menu, as long as it can be made from scratch and is centred around sourdough. Employees, colleagues and customers, past and present, have left their mark. 

But of course, my grandmother and her bread has always been the starting point. 

5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.

I can play the piano and clarinet, not as well as I used to though. Finding time to practise is hard. 

lovely pizzas at Flour to the People!

lovely pizzas at Flour to the People!

6. What's the most popular item on your menu?

Eggs Benedict-ish for breakfast or brunch, and the classic Margherita pizza in the evening.  

7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?

I love Cypriot food and crave my mothers cooking; she often freezes oven ready dishes during her frequent visits. But I try my hand at tava, a dish made in certain mountain villages in Cyprus, of slow-cooked lamb and rice with cinnamon and cumin.

But more often than not, beans on toast! Made with sourdough, of course...

8. What's next for your business?

We are developing a lunch menu. We want to get it right and so we’re trying various things. Keep up to date on social media!

9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

Armistead Maupin, Kate Bush, and Rupaul. My favourite author, musician and drag queen. This probably says too much about me... Never mind...

10.What’s your favourite London cheap eat?

Sam’s rotisserie chicken and potatoes at Park Road Kitchen.


Liked this? Then you'll probably enjoy our previous interviews too:

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founders of Arancini Brothers, Big Dave and Little Dave
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Pilpel and Badolina, Uri Dinay
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Street Kitchen, Mark Jankel
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Monty's Deli, Mark Ogus
10 QUESTIONS WITH: owner of Park Road Kitchen, Sam Mousawi
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of The Bell & Brisket, Bel Shapiro

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founders of Arancini Brothers, Big Dave and Little Dave

Big Dave (Director of Vegetarian Concerns) and Little Dave (Director of Meat-Related Arancini Issues) are the wizards behind Sicilian rice ball success story, Arancini Brothers; it's their arancini wraps that made it onto our list of London Cheap Eats.  

We had a good old chinwag with the two Daves, here's what they had to say.

Big Dave and Little Dave from Arancini Brothers

Big Dave and Little Dave from Arancini Brothers

1. Tell us briefly what your business is about

Its pretty simple really - serving good, easy, fast food, with a healthy and honest twist, at a great price. 

2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.

Well, it's been quite a journey for both of us to be honest! We both started in the industry when we were 16 and never left. 

Big Dave is Australian with Scandinavian roots, and Little Dave is from New Zealand, so we marry up our native “antipodean” dining flair with some good, classic European food pretty nicely. 

After arriving in the UK in the mid 00's, Big D convinced Little D to come over to London after seeing a big gap in the market for reasonably priced, quality food. In 2009, we ventured out onto the streets with an Australian version of the traditional Sicilian arancini, and never really looked back.

Quickly realising Londoners wanted everything in some form of bread, we started wrapping the risotto balls and salad up and before we knew it, we were a big hit and began looking for our first site. Now with three locations, we're looking into franchising and expanding into retailing the risotto balls across the UK, and who knows, maybe beyond?

3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?

Ah, that’s easy - good pizza and pasta. You can't go wrong with The Bite, a small place in Dalston. Cheap, with simple flavours that will make you smile every time.  

4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu? 

We have always been big believers in doing things differently, and our backgrounds and the culinary traditions we have worked in fuel this. Basically, finding popular options but making them our way, and making them proper tasty!

Our inspiration always starts with vegetarians in mind, meat is always a second thought. We don't rely on the flavour coming from the meat - it's in our salads, stews and risotto balls.

Saying that though, all our meat is specially chosen to work and compliment the meal to the great delight of our carnivorous customers! 

pulled pork barbecoa arancini wrap from Arancini Brothers

pulled pork barbecoa arancini wrap from Arancini Brothers

5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.

Hmm, not sure how far we can go into this but, despite the urban legends, we are in fact not brothers. We're only related through the mysteries of the arancini - but don’t tell anyone.  

6. What's the most popular item on your menu?

Once upon a time, it used to be our lemon chicken wrap with classic mozzarella risotto balls (and don’t get us wrong, they are still awesome and very popular!)

But now, our risotto ball burgers and recently released vegan burger, are quickly taking the capital by storm! Its crazy to hear people saying they're better than the classic meat patty! 

7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?

Big D – Fortunately, my wife is an amazing vegetarian cook. Anything she comes up with I'm very happy with, but if she is busy, it's vegemite and cream cheese toasties all the way.

Little D – I do cook at home pretty regularly, but can't say no to a bit of good home delivery from Zing Zing in K town once in a while. 

8. What's next for your business?

That’s a good question. We constantly get asked by customers if we are going to open more stores across London, and even beyond. I guess with this in mind, we really want to franchise the concept and potentially get the risotto balls into a retail pack so you can recreate Arancini Brothers at home! 

9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

David Byrne for the music. Rick stein - love his clumsy cooking shows and he'd probably bring a nice bit of fish along too. Our mums. 

10.What’s your favourite London cheap eat?

Ahh, now that’s easy. Pacific Social Club, a café in Hackney E5. Best toasties in London. Don’t all go rushing there at once though, otherwise they may push up the prices!

 

Liked this? Then you'll probably enjoy our previous interviews too:

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Pilpel and Badolina, Uri Dinay
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Street Kitchen, Mark Jankel
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Monty's Deli, Mark Ogus
10 QUESTIONS WITH: owner of Park Road Kitchen, Sam Mousawi
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of The Bell & Brisket, Bel Shapiro

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Pilpel and Badolina, Uri Dinay

Founder of Pilpel and Badolina, Uri Dinay

Founder of Pilpel and Badolina, Uri Dinay

Uri is the founder of falafel favourites Pilpel, as well as the healthy Mediterranean take away stop Badolina in Bishopsgate.

Both Pilpel's falafel salad with extras and Badolina's grilled chicken / lamb with salads made it onto our list of London Cheap Eats.

We had a very pleasant chat with Uri, here's what he had to say.

1. Tell us briefly what your business is about

Pilpel is all about serving fresh, healthy food with exceptional customer service, and lots of love.

2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.

I worked for my grandfather from the age of 14 at his falafel stand in Israel. Later on when I was 20 years old, I moved to London and spent the first five years working in different jobs, and then five more years working as a sales manager for a food company distributing homous all around the UK.

The reason I am doing this now is because my grandfather wanted to retire back home in Israel, but none of his kids wanted to continue his legacy. I promised him that I would make him a legend and keep his legacy alive. Pilpel opened on the 5th of May 2009.

3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?

You would most likely find me having a picnic with my kids at Alexandra Palace.

4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu? 

My grandfather had a business back home for 60 years with his own secret recipe, which he himself inherited from his father. It's all about LOVE.

5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.

I am not a business man, I am an artist. I put lots of love into what I do.

6. What's the most popular item on your menu?

In a word... falafel!!

7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?

When I am off work, I eat at one of my establishments (Badolina, Pilpel or Barraka). When I am at home, I eat lots of vegetables and whatever my wife puts on my plate.

8. What's next for your business?

Next for my business is making my grandfather a legend. In the city of London, the job is done. Now I'm looking at other areas.

9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

Bob Marley, Ray Charles and Mahatma Gandhi.

10.What’s your favourite London cheap eat?

Pilpel, Badolina and Barraka of course!

 

Liked this? Then you'll probably enjoy our previous interviews too:

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Street Kitchen, Mark Jankel
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Monty's Deli, Mark Ogus
10 QUESTIONS WITH: owner of Park Road Kitchen, Sam Mousawi
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of The Bell & Brisket, Bel Shapiro

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Street Kitchen, Mark Jankel

Founder of Street Kitchen, Mark Jankel

Founder of Street Kitchen, Mark Jankel

Mark is the founder of Street Kitchen, who have recently opened a fourth site over in London Fields; it's their glorious hot roast chicken sandwich that made it onto our list of London Cheap Eats. We had a lovely chat with Mark, here's what he had to say.

1. Tell us briefly what your business is about

Slow Food, Fast. Real chefs serving restaurant quality food using natural and organic UK ingredients. Our food is super accessible; it's served in minutes and it's at street food prices.

2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.

Environmentalist, turned chef in high-end French restaurants, turned street food trader, turned entrepreneur. 

3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?

I love some of the more obscure Chinese dishes on the menu at HK Diner on Wardour Street - their baked eggs are epic.

Otherwise, I have been trying the new wave of Israeli food in London - The Palomar, Honey & Co, The Good Egg - as we are launching a Middle Eastern brunch and an evening sharing menu at the new arch in London Fields.

4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu? 

It's all about 'Edible Soul' - if you don't feel stirred by eating our food, we haven't done our job. The dishes are inspired by the ingredients - we only source natural free range meat directly from UK farms, so we start with amazing ingredients and treat them with respect.

We are all about flavour first and presentation later. I spent a year forging relationships with farmers who believe in great animal husbandry, and who farm in a natural and sustainable way.

5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.

My first culinary experiment was at five years old when I tried to make chicken ice cream. At the time it made perfect sense - mix my two favourite things. The results were not so impressive.

6. What's the most popular item on your menu?

Crispy chicken salad, warm crushed potatoes, pickled red onions, bacon, croutons, soft lettuce, rosemary vinaigrette, Old Winchester Mayo - it is addictive.

7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?

My wife's meatballs are the most amazing food on the planet - I could eat them every day without getting bored. They encapsulate the essence of 'Edible Soul'; it is impossible to eat them without making an 'mmmmmm' sound.

8. What's next for your business?

More sites building on the products that we have developed over the last four years. Investment into our supply chain to allow us to maintain the direct link as we scale.

9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

Wendell Berry (Wendell would be talking), Miles Davis (Miles would be playing), Thomas Keller (Thomas would be cooking).

10.What’s your favourite London cheap eat?

I love Tong Kanom on Harrow Road, an amazing little Thai Cafe. And Alounak on Westbourne Grove; I love their yoghurt marinated chicken skewers.

 

Liked this? Then you'll probably enjoy our previous interviews too:

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Monty's Deli, Mark Ogus
10 QUESTIONS WITH: owner of Park Road Kitchen, Sam Mousawi
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of The Bell & Brisket, Bel Shapiro

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of Monty's Deli, Mark Ogus

Mark Ogus from Monty's Deli

Mark Ogus from Monty's Deli

Mark is the owner, founder and co-cook over at salt beef and pastrami mecca Monty's Deli in Bermondsey; it's the reuben sandwich for £5/£8 that made it onto our list of London Cheap Eats. We threw a few questions Mark's way, here's what he had to tell us.

1. Tell us briefly what your business is about

We are an authentic Jewish deli. We make all the meats, bagels, mustard, soup, latkes, knishes, babkas and much more, all from scratch each week, to serve from our railway arch in Bermondsey every weekend.

For the items that we don't have the time or equipment to make, we use the best suppliers such as Vadasz Deli for our sauerkraut, and Sally Clarke Bakery for our excellent rye bread.

2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.

I was a musician for many years and then when that ended, I worked as a commis chef in a busy London restaurant for around six months. I really wanted to work with food but not in the traditional kitchen environment, so I started Monty's.

3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?

Probably shovelling large amounts of Szechuan food into my mouth in Soho somewhere.

4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu? 

I am enthralled by the Jewish deli and its history. Especially Jewish culture in big American cities. I've been to lots of them in New York/Brooklyn and Los Angeles, and I find the atmosphere so welcoming and comforting. I wanted to create a little reflection of that in London where I've grown up, and always missed that same feeling.

We always try to take a traditional dish and make it taste the best it possibly can, with the best ingredients, made from scratch, with love and care. That is soul food.

5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.

I once played on Top of the Pops.

6. What's the most popular item on your menu?

The Reuben or Reuben Special special. However, I always recommend just fatty salt beef (or pastrami), bread and mustard. We call that one "The Mensch". That's my favourite.

7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?

Biscuits, biscuits and more biscuits.

8. What's next for your business?

An outpost somewhere in central London that's open seven days a week.

9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

God, Satan and Death.

10.What’s your favourite London cheap eat?

Roadkill.

 

Liked this? Then you'll probably enjoy our previous interviews too:

10 QUESTIONS WITH: owner of Park Road Kitchen, Sam Mousawi
10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of The Bell & Brisket, Bel Shapiro

10 QUESTIONS WITH: owner of Park Road Kitchen, Sam Mousawi

Sam is the man behind Park Road Kitchen in Battersea; it's the half a roast chicken with wedges for £8 that made it onto our list of London Cheap Eats. We had a good old natter with Sam, here's what he had to tell us.

Sam Mousawi, founder of Park Road Kitchen in Battersea

Sam Mousawi, founder of Park Road Kitchen in Battersea

1. Tell us briefly what your business is about

Park Road Kitchen is a rotisserie and deli that offers healthy, fresh food to go. So often in London, people don’t have time to cook and PRK has affordable food that you can grab on your way home from work, or when you’re having lazy Sunday but still fancy a good roast!

2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.

Being British-Iraqi means I’ve worked all over the place, in the Middle East as well as in England. I worked in property management in London for many years, but have always had a passion for food, and spent a period of time working at my sister’s coffee shop Mouse & de Lotz in Dalston.

I wanted to get experience working with food as I knew eventually I wanted to open my own restaurant or deli.

3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?

Barrafina, Frith Street.

4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu? 

Food is a huge part of Middle Eastern culture, we spend a lot of time cooking and a lot of time eating together! Over the years I have developed a natural love of cooking and in particular Arabic food, so I guess our food is inspired a lot by Middle Eastern favours and ingredients. We do like to mix it up sometimes and may have a good solid British dish like a meat and potato pie.

When I worked in property I often didn’t have that much time to cook, so I would eat a roast chicken with a chilli soy sauce dip (that my dad taught me), a salad, and some flat bread - really simple and quick, and I thought it made a great idea for a business. One day I found this site in Battersea and snapped it up.

5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.

I sing Stevie Wonder's "Don't you worry 'bout a thing" in the shower every day, and have done for about 20 years. Its my mantra.

6. What's the most popular item on your menu?

Chicken and roast potatoes, but the pork belly lunch special on a Friday sells quickest. It flies out.

pork belly lunch special at Park Road Kitchen

pork belly lunch special at Park Road Kitchen

7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?

It ranges depending on time and my mood. Sometimes I’ll keep it very simple and just make some teriyaki salmon with purple sprouting broccoli and rice. Other nights I’ll make fresh pasta - and maybe do a butternut and sage ravioli.  If I have a whole day off I love baking bread.

8. What's next for your business?

We have just got a mobile rotisserie trailer, so we’ll be taking it to events, markets and festivals. Watch this space…

9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

My siblings Nadya, Dina and Nabeel because I just don't get to see enough of them, and we all love eating.

10.What’s your favourite London cheap eat?

The salt beef sandwich at The Dairy Deli. You can even get a black coffee with it and its still only £8.

 

Liked this? Then you'll probably enjoy our previous interview too:

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of The Bell & Brisket, Bel Shapiro

10 QUESTIONS WITH: founder of The Bell & Brisket, Bel Shapiro

Bel is the force behind street food venture The Bell & Brisket, currently in permanent residence at The Barley Mow pub in Shoreditch; it's The Duke Bagel that made it onto our list of London Cheap Eats. We had a lovely chinwag with Bel, here's what she had to say.

Bel Shapiro from The Bell & Brisket

Bel Shapiro from The Bell & Brisket

1. Tell us briefly what your business is about

Very good question. I wish I knew! The Bell & Brisket is a modern slant on the old school salt beef bagel. We've basically pimped it up within an inch of its life and reintroduced it to the streets of London.

We started out as a street food operation and now have a permanent home in the kitchen of the Barley Mow in Shoreditch. 

2. Tell us a bit about your background - where you've worked in the past and why you're doing this now.

I trained in Theatre Design and worked a bit as an art director for music videos and bit of TV. A slightly unusual path led from there to street food via working in event production, to launching a new takeaway brand, and then going it alone with The Bell & Brisket.

I'm doing this now mainly because I am probably unemployable! After my last job, I vowed never to work for anyone again. Plus, this is the most creative thing I've ever done in my life.

3. If you were out for an evening in London, where would we most likely find you?

Probably a street food event. Or a colleague's pop-up, or a pub. I spend a lot of time in pubs it seems. Mainly for work and research purposes, you understand.

4. Where did you get the inspiration for your food / menu? 

The original idea was based very much on the traditional East End salt beef bars; I used to serve ox tongue and everything! I started the business as the street food scene was taking off and at the time, no one was doing anything with salt beef bagels. Along the way I met amazing suppliers such as Vadasz Deli whose pickle products made sense beside mine, so a menu started to evolve from there.

5. Tell us an interesting fact about you that not many know.

I suffer from trypophobia (Ed - that's a pathological fear of holes or circular shapes in clusters, for the 99.9% of you wondering).

6. What's the most popular item on your menu?

The Lord Rupert (Ed - with pickled cabbage, dijon mayo, melted Cheddar and dill pickles). Closely followed by The Duke (Ed - with tomato chipotle sauce, pickled onions, melted Monterey Jack cheese, jalapeño sour cream and Hot Roots).

7. What do you eat when you're off work and at home?

My fridge is empty. I am a disgrace. I can be found gnawing on Ryvita and cheese and Branston pickle. Terrible confession of a food trader there.

8. What's next for your business?

I'm concentrating on private events and building the business at The Barley Mow at the moment. The idea of a bricks and mortar premises is always in the back of my head...

9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

Jim Henson, Woody Allen, and Tracey Ullman.

10.What’s your favourite #londoncheapeat?

Spit and Roast. They can do no wrong. I have a massive crush on both of them.