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International Chef's Day 2021

— 20 Oct 2021, 15:13 by Tashia Cameron


To celebrate #InternationalChefsDay2021 we are shining a spotlight on our fantastic street food traders at BOXPARK that went above and beyond during the pandemic in more ways than one. 

Our wonderful chefs played an active role within their communities, whether it was adapting to the closure of their sites, creating DIY meal kits so foodies could recreate their favourite dishes from home, donating free meals to those in need and to our heroes on the front lines, or launching training schemes to equip people with skills to return to work once the hospitality sector got back on its feet. 

Let’s give a round of applause to these street food stars!

Nanny Bill’s: BOXPARK Wembley

Chefs/Founders: Darren & Jade Simpson

How did you adapt the day-to-day running of your business during lockdown?

We love our brand and believe in what we do so adapting and changing to keep feeding our burger connoisseurs was a must. We offered deliveries in areas we hadn't before and also created home DIY kits to ensure our customers outside of the delivery areas didn't go without their Nanny Bill's fix. 

What have you done to give back to the community during the pandemic?

All of the profits generated from our DIY Kits were donated to a little boy called Rome Daniels who was battling Mito (ECHS1 Deficiency). He wasn't able to get the operation needed due to the pandemic and fundraising was the only solution the family had to get Rome the care he needed. 

What was your most popular dish sold during the pandemic?

Our Dalston Dip DIY Kit was an absolute smasher! It caters to the gravy lovers, the meat lovers and the halal following all in one fair swoop. On delivery platforms our Chicken Strips and Vegan nuggets were flying out by the kilo!

 

NANNY BILL'S PROFILE

The Spot: BOXPARK Croydon

Chef/Founder: Priyan Amin

How did you adapt the day-to-day running of your business during lockdown? 

So we actually created the business during lockdown, so we were already adapted to the process of running the business through deliveries only. It was a very difficult time for everyone, and with everything being closed, I knew I had an opportunity to bring my ideas to life. 

What have you done to give back to the community during the pandemic?

During the lockdown period we actually gave away lunch meals to the kids of our community for free to help out the parents. We also give food away to the homeless on a regular basis to help those in need as well. We don't believe anyone should go hungry. 

What was your most popular dish sold during the pandemic? 

Our best/signature dish is our Bang Bang Shrimp Taco! This taco speaks for itself once you've tried it. Customers can never only order 1. They'll always come back for more.

 

THE SPOT PROFILE

Big Mike’s Calypso Kitchen: BOXPARK Croydon

Chef/Founder: Mike Springer

How did you adapt the day-to-day running of your business during lockdown? 

Big Mike’s Calypso Kitchen’s story began when we signed the lease on 13th February 2020 but Covid-19 hit and National Lockdown was announced in March 2020. We were unable to re-open until 4th July 2020 – ironically American Independence Day. A second closure came in December 2020 but we used this time to lay out a robust diversification strategy for 2021. This included our existing restaurant offering - delivery and collection, using special occasions, like Valentines Weekend and Mother’s Day to introduce special menus, which proved very popular.

Once the restaurant reopened fully in April 2021, we introduced new elements to the business, including the Rooftop Lime. Next up is Big Mike’s @Home – delivering Big Mike’s products to the masses throughout the UK, launching in the next few months.

What have you done to give back to the community during the pandemic?

For the past year, every fortnight – two Fridays back to back – we have worked with Croydon Nightwatch to help feed Croydon’s homeless. We’ve served up on average 100 meals per session as part of our Challenge 100 Focus, which is a belief that no one should go hungry in the UK. Feeding Our Community Unifies Society – that’s the message from Big Mike’s Calypso Kitchen and its founder/ head chef/proprietor, Big Mike Springer. Sadly, the queue is growing but this only goes to strengthen Springer’s resolve to make a difference. It was pretty grim out there in the winter and we were only too happy to make sure people received a hot meal. “I’m talking exactly the same food that I would eat – good, wholesome, freshly cooked meal to provide nourishment,” says Mike Springer.

I love the community. The Community are there for us and keep Big Mike’s Calypso Kitchen going and we wanted to support them by feeding the homeless. We’ve also launched The People’s Kitchen – an initiative to bring on local culinary talent. It’s all about investing in the youth of today and supporting their development,” says Mike Springer.

What was your most popular dish sold during the pandemic?

It’s fair to say our curry goat roti has flown out of the restaurant throughout the past year, together with our Bajan fishcakes. Customers can’t get enough of either dish.

 

BIG MIKE'S PROFILE

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