Streat Helsinki 2014

Two days, three events. 500 conference attendees and praters, over 20 000 friends of street food. 37 street kitchens, 25 000 street food portions sold. 22 top international speakers, countless contacts made, new ideas and proposals. This was the first Streat Helsinki which was arranged 21-22 March 2014.

The unique set of events called together a large group of experts and journalists interested in food and city development. For them, Helsinki showed itself as a city that is open-minded and full of flavours, and amass with great food entrepreneurs.


Streat Helsinki 2014: ALL EXPECTATIONS EXCEEDED

Two days, three events. 500 conference attendees and praters, over 20 000 friends of street food. 37 street kitchens, 25 000 street food portions sold. 22 top international speakers, countless contacts made, new ideas and proposals. This was the first Streat Helsinki which was arranged 20-21 March 2014.

“It is great to welcome such an international set of event to Helsinki. Streat Helsinki not only livens up the city, but also gives new thoughts to both the city officials and to the food scene, and allows for new networks. I can only feel happy about this, says Helsinki’s Cultural Director Stuba Nikula.


Streat Helsinki EATS gathered tens of thousands of visitors to the Tori Quarters

Demand and interest for street food was very visible when tens of thousands of people made their way to taste Finnish and international treats at the Tori Quarters in central Helsinki. The event on Saturday 22 March was expecting 10 000 visitors, and this estimate was exceeded by over 10 000 people. 37 street food vendors sold over 25 000 portions throughout the day.
“We gave a clear sign that street food entrepreneurs are passionate about their work and find great joy in it, and that citizens would welcome a large group of them with open arms. This time people were patient enough to wait in line for a long time, but in the future this should be a more permanent way of doing things, and not only a festival speciality”, says City of Helsinki’s head of Food Culture Strategy, and initiator of Streat Helsinki, Ville Relander.
“Streat Helsinki EATS will stay in history books as the day that Helsinki and street food truly found each other.

This calls to review how our market squares, courtyards and other open spaces could be put to use in the future – and what levels festival and market food reach in the future. Anyone can learn a lot from the passion, attitude and choice of ingredients of the StreatHelsinki EATS vendors. Good work leads to success”, continues Relander.
“We worked hard all day and sold our BBQ on Wheels burgers at a rate of one per minute. For us, that is the fastest possible delivery time for portions made from fresh ingredients and prepared on the spot in a street kitchen. It is not fast food, even though the 60 second timing starts to resemble this. The street food season in on its way and it is great to see that there is such great interest for it”, says Ville Junttila, who participated in the event by cooking food in his tiny egg-shaped 60’s caravan.


Streat Helsinki TALKS opened the discussion and aroused international interest

Streat Helsinki TALKS gathered 22 top international speakers and 500 excited attendees to the Messukeskus – Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre on Friday 21 March 2014. The conference helped to create new networks, hosted discussions and talks on street food principles in different cities, and gave the stage to street food professionals from around the world.
“The expertise and excitement of our entrepreneurs and hobbyists aroused the genuine interest of our international network.

Many fell in love with our creativity and will eagerly await what happens next in the street food scene here. City officials from Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki decided to start discussing these shared issues together more frequently and to look for best practices together. We also got a good initial promise from the City of Helsinki: this summer’s street food permits will be processed during May”, Ville Relander sums up with excitement.


Streat Helsinki PARTIES proved that street food can be Michelin-level

More than 500 street food fans arrived in the Abattoir’s Kellohalli restaurant to enjoy street food prepared by top chefs atStreat Helsinki PARTIES. Recently Michelin-awarded chef Sasu Laukkonen along with Richard McCormick, the head of Sandro, one of Helsinki’s top restaurants, brought joy to the guests with their jointly planned menu.

“Street food and restaurant food are not competitors, but rather experiences that complement each other. They are enjoyed on different occasions, with a different schedule, in different company, but for the same reason: for the love of food and delicious flavours. Personally, this was a great experience to dive into the possibilities of street food”, says Sasu Laukkonen.


The international food scene to follow development in Helsinki

The unique set of events called together a large group of experts and journalists interested in food and city development. For them, Helsinki showed itself as a city that is open-minded and full of flavours, and amass with great food entrepreneurs.
“We set new frames for encounters in the food scene – many already told us that they will model their own events on StreatHelsinki. On the other hand, street food entrepreneurs fighting with permits received a lot of advice from their international colleagues and from the food world in general.

It is amazing that we are able to exchange more and more ideas and views in the future”, Ville Relander says.
The international guests were excited by both the quality of Finnish street food and the level of restaurants in Helsinki. Finnish festival participants have already received invitations to, for example, Sao Paulo. One of the world’s best-known chefs, South African Luke Dale Roberts, wants to set up a stand at the next EATS event. The Swedish EATS vendors want to come back at the next possible moment.


Streat Helsinki 21–22 March 2014

• TALKS 21 March

• PARTIES 21 March

• EATS 22 March

Streat Helsinki’s main organisers were the City of Helsinki’s Food Culture Strategy Team, Tori Quarters (Streat Helsinki EATS), the Abattoir (Streat Helsinki PARTIES), and the Messukeskus – Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre (Streat Helsinki TALKS). The events were additionally supported by ministries and small businesses alike. In practice, the events were a collaboration between a big group of communities, food activists, professionals, amateurs, entrepreneurs, and other hungry street foodies.