Excellence in street food cuisine

For many years, street food was shunned by the French culinary establishment, considered not sufficiently refined or creative. We take a deeper look at this street fare, with origins dating back about 10,000 years – to the beginning of our civilisation – and which has evolved alongside our society for centuries, currently bringing together more than 2.5 million people every day.


Street food was born on the street, for people on the go. From Asia via Africa, Latin America and North America, street food is deeply rooted in the cultures of numerous countries around the world and is a strong marker of social cohesion. Much more than just a fashionable fad, it is a way of life in its own right, and a sacred and historical link between a culture, its gastronomy, and its roots.

Street food is cuisine that travels and is shared all over the world, but historically, it is in Thailand, China or India that we find the greatest concentration of street vendors offering dishes at affordable prices.  

In France, the establishment and success of street food would come later. Abandoned from the 18th century with the birth of restaurants, social norms and the bourgeoisie, the French found themselves more often indoors.

It was only in the 21st century, with the growth of travel, that the culture of street food and its gastronomy gradually returned to the forefront in France. Street food trucks can now be found everywhere. Boosted by globalisation and the media coverage of food and chefs, this simpler and cheaper cuisine attracts a host of customers in search of culinary experiences.


Perhaps surprisingly at first glance, the Michelin Guide has been awarding stars to street food establishments for some years now. Recipients include Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle in Singapore, Jay Fai in Bangkok, and Taquería El Califa de León in Mexico City, where the Mexican tacos received their Michelin-star in 2024. The simplicity and quality of the fresh produce make these establishments unmissable purveyors of street food in their countries, so much so that the famous red guide has taken note of their success, and been moved to award them well-deserved stars. Excellence has now emerged from the kitchens of our gourmet restaurants to take its place on food trucks around the world. An opportunity and a great way to develop this cuisine, which is becoming ever more gourmet and continues to surprise diners around every street corner!


Why have so many Michelin-starred chefs turned to street cuisine in recent years? The COVID-19 crisis and the enforced closure of restaurants is one explanation for the path that some Michelin-starred chefs have taken in France, pivoting to a new offering since it was impossible to enjoy a 7-course dinner at a restaurant during that period. They, along with the entire sector, had to reinvent themselves when their clientele was no longer allowed to go to restaurants.

There is also the question of the democratisation of street food and gastronomy: culinary shows such as Top Chef or The Best Pastry Chef have reached a new clientele, who are not used to frequenting Michelin-starred establishments. When Anne-Sophie Pic launched the Pic Up Truck in Valence in May 2021, it was not targeted at clients accustomed to visiting her Michelin-starred restaurant, but aimed to reach new ones. The same thing applies in Marseille with Michel par AM, launched by Alexandre Mazzia: an extension of his establishment, located just a few metres from the main restaurant, for all those looking to enjoy the creations of a 3-star chef, on the go and at an affordable price. For Anne-Sophie Pic and her colleagues, this challenge is an opportunity to add quality and excellence to an existing offer.

As far as our graduates go, Léo and César Troisgros joyfully embarked on this adventure aboard the Petite Cuisine: a red food truck that went out to meet their customers, selling out every time. The only thing small about this venture is the name!


The growth of uninhibited, creative and gourmet street food attracts a wide audience, from epicureans to the simply curious. Faced with increased customer demand, events have been created to bring people together and allow them to discover more and more new cuisines!

The Food Market in Paris was the first street food event in the capital, launched in 2015. Every month, the appointment is in the 20th arrondissement, between the Couronnes and Menilmontant stations, to discover the team’s latest finds, from local lunch spots to bistronomic restaurants.

More recent festivals, such as the Lille Street Food Festival or Street Food Fever in Salon-de-Provence have also appeared over the years.

In 2016, the Lyon Street Food Festival made its debut and heralded a new era in Lyon’s gastronomic story, driven by Nomad Kitchen. The mission of this event is for people to discover both French and international street food. From 12,000 visitors for the first edition to nearly 45,000 festival-goers attending the 2023 edition, it is an unmissable event for foodies in and around Lyon.

The future is bright for street food. Today, it is gourmet and cool, we have claimed it, we are talking about it, and it is excellent. Want to get started? Join our Bachelor’s in International Culinary Arts Management.

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