The Gourmet Busker: Cooking With Love

The girl strumming her guitar by the lamp post, the elderly gentleman belting out Sinatra in the subway corridor, or the energetic trio of b-boys breaking out acrobatic moves in the plaza. Buskers are a sure sign you’ve landed in the city, where anyone can take their talents to the streets and earn some cash.

Some time ago, I was strolling through London’s Real Food Market on the South Bank (where we also found this cool container restaurant) and stumbled across a most unique and intriguing busker. John Quilter, aka the Food Busker, has put his own unique spin on busking. He will cook you a meal and if you like it you can drop some money in his busking tin. If not, you can tell him “to take a hike”.

And we’re not talking about hot dogs or tacos. The Food Busker creates special dishes with fresh and exotic ingredients of which, he claims, love is the most important of all. Just recently, he had served up meatballs with prunes and chestnuts, and some scrumptious looking momo’s (a Himalayan dumpling).

Food busking seems like a great idea, yet, there are the ever looming concerns of food safety regulation. And to what degree will it be exploited by those looking for a free meal? Quilter, an ex-chef, really believes in the power of food to break social barriers and make people happy, and I’m inclined to agree with him. Will we see food busking become the next pop-up trend?