Street food trucks have turned many a small, humble dish into favourites at festivals and markets. We speak to Anna of Anna Mae’s to find out more behind their legendary Mac N Cheese.
What was the inspiration behind Anna Mae’s serving southern food especially the Mac N Cheese?
When we started, American food wasn’t big in London – beyond burgers and hotdogs. We had some knowledge of Southern food so decided to try out a few different things and Mac N Cheese was a clear favourite. We love it because it’s totally versatile, can be pimped up with truffle or lobster, or kept completely simple. Either way it’s delish.
What are the stories behind your street food trucks Burt Reynolds and Cheesus Loves You?
When we found Burt he was a sorry looking dark grey day-van, fully carpeted and leaking badly. He had no breaks and every wheel was a different size. We decided that he needed a bit of love and a new lease of life, so Burt naturally became Burt Reynolds, and it suits him down to the ground! With Cheesus, we were building the trailer and really wanted to replicate those old school roadside church signs you see across the States. We had loads of pictures of them from our travels. Cheesus worked really well and Cheesus Loves You fitted in with those evangelical messages, as well as saying everything we wanted to say about the feel-good aspect of our food.
You have many great combinations and flavours including the Don Macaroni, Annie Mac and the Kanye Western. What would be your dream collaboration?
Oooh the list is endless! I’ve been doing lots of experimentation with beef short rib as specials, but we always have ideas in the pipeline that I want to add to the menu. We’ll definitely be busting out some interesting combos from our new book at future events so watch this space.
Yes it’s a carb-fest and full of cheese but it’s comfort food at its best. You can’t beat it in terms of boosting your overall wellbeing!
What’s been your favourite or most unusual venue to serve at?
It feels like I’ve cooked Mac at them all! I love the festival circuit because you get people coming back year on year who are fans of what you do and the feedback is amazing. It makes me so happy to see people so enthusiastic and enjoying our food. So that’s my favourite, but in terms of unusual, I did get a request to hand out Mini Mac’s at a roller disco once, on roller skates! Unfortunately I never got skates for Christmas as a kid even though it was the 80s, so I had to glide along on my high-tops instead!
What’s the most underrated thing about Mac N Cheese?
Well for me it hits every button, it’s got that primal pull and umami that works so well on so many levels. Yes it’s a carb-fest and full of cheese but it’s comfort food at its best. You can’t beat it in terms of boosting your overall wellbeing!
Mac N Cheese: Recipes from the legendary food truck, by Anna Clark and Tony Solomon. Out 6 August. Order a copy here! Keep an eye out for our sneak preview of one of the recipes from the book!
From London’s legendary street food truck – over 50 recipes for pimped up Mac N Cheese, sides, sauces, slaws, drinks and desserts.
Anna Mae’s | Click here to find out where Anna Mae’s will be next…