Edamame Sliders, Anyone? DIY Street Fair Food is Local and Unique
There's a unique food philosophy on Ferndale's DIY Street Fair menu.
Elephant ears and funnel cakes might have their place at most American food and art festivals but just don’t expect to be eating them at Ferndale’s DIY Street Fair.
What you will see alongside this local pantheon of do-it-yourselfers is local food purveyors who break the mold.
Take for instance Brent Foster, a man of passion when it comes to food who bartends at The Emory and runs Omnivorous Catering. He once catered a wedding with a menu of classic French cuisine. Pretty straightforward—except the bride and groom said it had to be all vegan.
“People actually loved it,” said Foster, who figured out how to make “beef” bourguignon with seitan, a popular meat substitute made from wheat.
At the fourth-annual DIY Street Fair starting Friday in Ferndale, Foster will take sushi rice and edamame, blend it all down, coat the patties in panko breadcrumbs and pan sear. He’ll serve the sliders on buns from Knickerbocker Baking in Madison Heights.
It’s anything but conventional, and why not? DIY is all about showcasing local, homegrown, and forward-thinking ideas—and event organizers from the beginning have wanted the food to reflect that philosophy, too.
“We’re always looking for food that’s going to fit into the DIY ethic,” said Emily Husband, general manager at The Emory and Woodward Avenue Brewers and a DIY Street Fair organizer.
Aside from the obvious “local food” movement that promotes a more earth-friendly way of eating, Husband said the DIY ethic also comes from re-imagining the idea of “local” food and reaching out to restaurants that have a big impact on their own communities but are not necessarily located in Ferndale.
So this year Husband reached out to Union Woodshop in Clarkston, Michigan, “a small bbq restaurant that’s really big in the community.”
“Even though they’re a half hour away, I thought they would be a good fit for DIY,” Husband said, noting that she hopes to have them at next year’s festival.
The 2011 DIY food selection will be an intimate affair as usual, with just eight vendors. But it’s sure to pack a delicious taste punch with fare from Omnivorous Catering, Howe’s Bayou, Detroit Underdog, The Emory, WAB, Treat Dreams and OM Café. Taco Mama, a mobile restaurant that serves freshly made tacos and quesadillas out of a truck every day in Ferndale, will also be there.
And it definitely won’t all be vegetarian. In addition to the edamame sliders, Foster is serving pulled pork sandwiches and an array of homemade sauces. Howe’s Bayou is offering its classic New Orleans dishes like jambalaya and Atchafalaya. And Treat Dreams, known to use WAB beer in its ice cream from time to time, will offer several other unique flavors.
“This is about people thinking outside the box in terms of food,” Foster said. “And DIY definitely supports that.”