THE STORY SO FAR...I’m Lee DeSanges, founder of Baked in Brick. I studied at University College Birmingham, which in my opinion is one of the best catering colleges in the country I learned my trade at local French restaurant Le Cote D’Or as well as spells at Raymond Blanc's magnificent Le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons.
Despite my background in formal dining I’ve always had a love for a more rustic style of cooking. I built a wood fired oven at home in 2012 and after having numerous Pizza parties I wanted to let more people taste my food. I developed a major obsession in the UK’s street food movement. I became a regular visitor to the ground breaking Digbeth Dining Club in Birmingham where I met the 2 founders Jack Brabant and James Swinburne. Further inspired by seeing Richard Johnson (founder of the British Street Food Awards) on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch I visited the BSFA finals in Leeds where I had the opportunity to meet Richard and get answers to those burning questions. He gave me the best piece of advice ever, “…the quality of food and cooking has to be outstanding, but if you want to be really successful in this game, do something to stand out from all the other traders”…hence the Mini!
ABOUT THE MINII’d got a plan now so went back to meet Jack and James from DDC to ask them for a pitch serving pizza, Jack said he’d already got two pizza traders and didn’t want any more. Crushing! That’s when I told him I was putting a BBQ under the bonnet to cook my Nan’s chicken tikka on sword like skewers. He was sold. So, in a nutshell my point of difference is that I cook outstanding 24 hour marinated chicken tikka over charcoal under the bonnet of a (1964 Mini Cooper). I serve it in a naan style flatbread which I cook in a wood-fired oven on the back of the Mini, as well as Neapolitan style pizza! Sounds completely bonkers but the food is delicious and people just can’t ignore us and our food!
THE KINGS OF STREET FOODA humorous 15-part web series about our road trip in a converted 1980s VW camper van with Lee Desanges (Baked in Brick) to the European Street Food Awards in Berlin. READ MORE
ABOUT THE TEAM AND FUTURE
Street food has really found its place now in the leisure and eating out, casual dining sector. People love street food because it’s cool and interesting, but also because they know what they’ll pay, they know that their favourites will be there, and they know that they’ll get something special because the traders have spent a lot of time perfecting what they do.
This couldn’t have happened without the team behind me, many of whom have also come through UCB as it’s a great source of enthusiastic chefs eager to learn more and make a name for themselves. They are my backbone. And to cater for the demand I’ve now got two Minis and more ideas to come!