Masterchef at work: Pangea Street

Ollie-Hunter-1024x682By Keith Lewis

Oliver Hunter doesn’t just love street food. He loves what it stands for. That is why, together with his business partner Hayden, he set up Pangea Street.

‘Street food encourages community engagement. It means people have to come and ask you what you are up to.’ he said. ‘It is more about interaction, making food fun, and that happens in many other countries.’

Ollie spent some time exploring Italy, where food is a kind of societal lynchpin. He has also explored food culture in other parts of the world, where street food not only satisfies stomachs, but also provides social occasion. His idea was to bring a fusion of global street food to Brixton, through Pangea.

pangea foodI asked him if, in general, he thinks Brits are a little shy of such things but he thinks we are coming round to the idea. I guess you only need to look at the increasing success of street markets throughout London.

‘It is the honesty and diversity of street food that makes it attractive,’ he continues. ‘You know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that,’ he joked, making a sprinkling motion with his hands. However, I sensed that there is more to Ollie’s food than that.

‘We could say the same about Brixton really, which makes it the perfect place to set up a street food business.’ Ollie said. He sees Brixton as honest, its people aren’t trying hard to be something else. That’s what makes it special.

Pangea came about through a chain of events. Ollie has always loved cooking and having catered for his parent’s 25th wedding anniversary, he was encouraged to apply to Masterchef. So, for fun, he did. And he succeeded, getting to the semi finals recently.

pangea‘If anything, appearing on the programme gave me confidence,’ he told me. It was shortly after this that he met his business partner Hayden, whilst working for Orange in Pimlico. Hayden brings a wealth of culinary experience and was also keen to start out alone.

So, here they are. The Pangea Street stall can be found on Brixton Station Road from Wednesday to Saturday.

Ollie is keen to describe their salads as healthy and tasty. Each day they craft something different; Wednesdays is wholesome salads, Thursday meat and, of course, Friday fish.

Whilst they offer good food, he insists that Pangea should not be seen as a one-off treat. “We have many regular customers who return a couple of times a week. With a loyalty card, you get one salad free in every five. And that works out to £4 a meal (less than a sandwich and a bag of crisps in most chains).” Pangea also delivers to offices, and not just in Brixton but central London too.

In addition, they run a barbeque in the back garden of the Duke of Edinburgh pub. He talked me through the last menu, which included British wild boar Burger, Asian cod in a bag and Texan slow roasted Pork Shoulder. Their next event is coming up in the Duke on the 25th July, and he promises an equally exciting menu.

‘I guess one day our dream would be to run a whole street, with music and art and the works. And we are interested in a restaurant too,’ he explained.

More imminently, however, they are close to a running a Festival of the Pig, in which they will use each part of the animal with a flavour from a different part of the world: Italian pork belly, Asian skewers, British hock, for example. They are seeking somewhere to host it as we speak – so watch this space.


  1. I stopped in for Tamarind Pork (think pork casserole served on a bed of brown rice with steamed pak choi) today and it was outstandingly tasty. It’s been a long time since i had a lunch as good as this for a measly fiver.

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