Who is Jackie Kearney

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 plant forward dining. As a street food pioneer in the UK, Jackie 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.

Jackie now divides her time between the UK and Italy, whilst building a wellness retreat in the Italian coastal mountains of Liguria. She also works as a private chef and development consultant.

Jackie is an award winning author, publishing four books: Vegan Street Food, My Vegan Travels, Plant Based Burgers and Vegan Christmas Feasts. She also co-wrote The Noodle Cook Book with Damien King Lee and Andy Chu.

Jackie teaches healthy plant forward cookery classes at her retreat in Italy and her new healthy vegan cookery book inspired by her travels with her family across Asia, Healthy Vegan Street Food, is due for release on 11 October 2022.

What is The Hungry Gecko

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 travelled to food events and festivals around the country serving her gourmet world street food and spent many summers serving gourmet street food at private events, weddings and food festivals!

Since leaving her street food days behind, Jackie is now an award winning cook book author, and also works as a private chef and development consultant. Email enquiries to hello@thehungrygecko.com

Jackie now divides her time between Manchester and Italy, building a wellness retreat in the coastal mountains of Liguria. 

My Ethos

"The inspiration for my food comes from my extensive travels around Asia with my family. Having been mostly vegetarian for over 30 years, I fell in love with Asian ingredients and flavours, as well as 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 mostly plant based because that is what I like to eat, and I am passionate about inspiring others to cook healthy plant based food.

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 vegan or not. Just a really great plate of food for everyone to enjoy!

During more recent years, since being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I have am committed to creating dishes that nourish us and support our health. With the massive rise in autoimmune conditions, and the also vegan junk food, I am passionate about making delicious food centred around well-being and healthy aging."

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