Andy Bates Interview: pie-eyed about street food

23 April 2012 | 0 Comments

Andy Bates, street food expert and pie guru, tells us about his love of pie, his new TV show, and his recipe for the ultimate Bedfordshire clanger

Kent born and raised Andy Bates starting cooking pies for his mates’ birthdays and other occasions. “There’s something about a good pie that makes a man go weak at the knees” he tells me. 

Roll up, roll up

Buoyed up by the positive feedback for his wares, in 2008 he took a stall on Brick Lane Market in London. “No one was really doing British street food, there was lots of wonderful Thai, Indian and Mexican style foods available, but no pies, custard tarts or Scotch eggs” he says.

He then scooped Best Pie award at the British Street Food Awards in 2010, which led to Foodnetwork giving him his own show, Andy Bates’ Street Feasts. His streetwise knowledge of the Capital's districts is now available in an app.

Andy Bates hits the States

And so having explored the UK in search of the best street food, Andy’s now off to the USA to see if they can do it better. Filming starts in May, and the show should be on our tellies in the autumn. 

However it’s for pies that Andy is best known, and his range includes Traditional Chorizo, Chicken and Ham, Cheese and Onion, and Mediterranean Vegtable Pie. However, if you’re after something a bit more unusual for you and your friends and family to enjoy, why not make Andy’s Bedforshire Clanger

What’s a Bedfordshire Clanger?

Bedfodrshire clangerGlad you asked that. Well the clanger of Bedfordshire has been through a fair few changes through the years. Originally it was a boiled cylindrical suet pudding with a meat filling and fruit such as raisins studded in the pastry. This evolved over time, and the fruit became a separate filling at one end of the roll. Recipes for the first version appear as recently as 1951, in Nell Heaton’s Traditoional Recipes of the British Isles.

With the demise of mass land labour after the Second World War, the clanger looked set to be confined to history. Then 15 years ago David Gunn of Gunn’s bakery in Sandy was invited to set up a stall at the Bedfordshire festival, and he decided to bring back the clanger for the occasion. Rather than boiling it, David developed a baked version, but still used the suet pastry casing. It’s this style of clanger that Andy makes today. Indeed when you think about it the clanger format - savoury and fruit - works with any number of ingredients; pork and sage with apple and Currants, or goats cheese with seasonal berries.

Knives, forks and spoons at the ready!

Andy’s recipe is for a huge clanger that serves four, this is a real ‘everyone dive in’ dish, and great for sharing with friends and family, and a great dish for St George’s day (23 April). Enjoy.

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