Jackie Kearney was a top 4 finalist in BBC One's MasterChef 2011 and runner up for Best Main Dish at British Street Food Awards in 2012. Her food passion lies with world street food, and vegan and vegetarian dining. As a street food pioneer in the UK, Jackie has travelled up and down the country with her iconic trailer Barbarella, serving up gourmet world street food, as well as working with the MasterChef street food bus.
Inbetween this busy schedule, Jackie works as a private chef, teaches cookery classes with Seasoned and her new vegan cookery book inspired by her travels with her family across Asia, is due for release in late Summer 2015.
Jackie's ambition is to raise the bar in vegetarian and street food dining. She aims to create food that is exciting, delicious and thought provoking.
"I love everything about street food. I love the accessibility of it, the array of flavours and spices, the fresh preparation of ingredients and most of all, the opportunities this gives for creating great dishes, regardless of whether it's vegetarian or not. It's simply about producing an amazing plate of food for people to enjoy."
The Hungry Gecko began in September 2011 with Manchester's first dining club in Chorlton. It was during this time that Jackie was inspired to join the emergent British street food scene, and bought her British made 23ft retro trailer, Barbarella. She travels to food events and festivals around the country serving her gourmet world street food and has another busy summer ahead with private events, weddings and food festivals!
The Hungry Gecko dining club is ongoing, with occasional pop-ups and dining events serving a street food inspired menu. The dining club is available for private parties and bookings.
Jackie also works as a private chef and food development consultant. Email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hungry Gecko produces a gourmet range of spice pastes and sauces. Further information can be found here.
The inspiration for much of my food has come from my travels around Asia. Having been mostly vegetarian for over 25 years, I fell in love with Asian ingredients and flavours. For me, it put the excitement back into food and cooking. I also fell in love with the whole street food dining culture in Asia. Dining out seemed a much more democratic experience, and it's a joy to see the breadth and variety of diners sitting in Mumbai street cafes or eating from Thai street vendors. The food I produce is often vegetarian and vegan because that is what I like to eat, but this doesn't stop me creating dishes with meat, fish and seafood for others to enjoy.
These days we understand more about sustainability, and I think it's important we treat meat and fish as the limited and precious resource that it is, and I work hard to understand where any ingredients come from and the impact this may have on us and our environment. All our packaging is biodegradeable and I try to include seasonal local produce where possible. My menus are inspired by a variety of regional Asian dishes and street food, from the Himalayas to the far corners of East Asia, to create something exciting and delicious, regardless of whether it's vegetarian or not. Just a really great plate of food!
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