Champion Lee is in the street food fast lane

September 2016

Former UCB student Lee Desanges has driven off with the country’s top street food award – for cooking up a storm in a converted Mini.

Lee, better known to food fans as Baked in Brick, scooped the title of Best of the Best at the British Street Food Awards in Birmingham.

Lee’s classic car features a wood-fired pizza oven on the roof which he uses to cook his popular calzone of Shire Meadows beef shin ragu, wild mushroom and Colston Bassett blue cheese dip. In addition to Best of the Best, Lee’s pizza was chosen as the Best Main Dish.

The chef’s amazing four-wheeled kitchen also features a charcoal-fired barbecue, which sits on the bonnet. He uses it to cook his glorious chicken tikka.

Lee, 34, of Sutton Coldfield, said he was overwhelmed to be judged the best of the 3,000 street food professionals who entered the competition.

He studied for two years at UCB, picking up NVQ levels 1, 2 and 3 in professional cookery, before working widely in the restaurant sector.

Lee said he fell in love with street food two years ago and now plans his holidays based not on sight-seeing but on trying out the hottest new food venues.

“I have always like rustic food, like cooking big joints of meat,” says Lee. “One of the things I love about street food is that you get instant feed-back from customers.”

The chef recalled his time at UCB with fondness and once did a cookery demonstration for the Princess Royal, preparing a king prawn stir fry.