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Caterer Profile

Moorish Cuisine


Moorish Cuisine

Kada’s Moorish Cuisine got ten out of ten for food at Glastonbury where he has been a regular for many years. Kada has also been working to promote and drive forward street food in the North and recently opened a new pop up concept in Kirkgate Market in Leeds, where Marks & Spencers had their very first market stall. We caught up with him shortly after the launch.


When did you start catering? And what was your first venture?

In the early 90’s I had many jobs in different restaurants in Paris, France and just worked my way up from the bottom. My first venture was in the late 90’s when I opened the first North African Cafe in Leeds. Running a restaurant is a big responsibility and you are limited to what you can do. Street food is so much more enjoyable and I get to move around, meet new people and learn new things.


How have NCASS helped you over the years?

Their help has been invaluable. The service they provide is, I believe, unique to the industry as they cover so many aspects of the catering industry and having had the hands on experience themselves they are able to understand fully what it is to be a caterer. There is so much to benefit from being a member and a certain pressure is taken off you as the caterer when it comes to organising insurance, certificates, training etc as they can do it all for you.


What was it like winning the NCASS secret shopper and has it helped you?

It was great winning, especially at an event as big as Glastonbury where there are so many different caterers to choose from. We always mention it when applying for events and it has inspired us to keep up the good work as you never know when that secret shopper will be tasting your food.


When did you get into event catering?

In 2005, a friend who ran a successful paella stall at large music events asked me to help out at The Big Chill and since then I’ve been hooked. The year after I decided to do my own stall and we’ve been gradually building up our portfolio of events since then.


What's your favourite event to work?


Moorish Cuisine large

I don’t have one favourite but I do love Womad, Green Man & Larmer Tree & of course Glastonbury.


What is the most amusing thing that has happened to you at an event?

A few years ago at Green Man we seemed to have the longest queue which we couldn’t even see the end of & it was getting busier and busier and then one of our customers said “Did you not realise, one of the main acts just dedicated a song to Moorish and we all decided to come over for lunch” we still don’t know to this day who it was though, all we know is they liked our food and passed on the message rather well!


What is this Kirkgate market gig and how did it come about?

I was visiting Borough Market in London about a year ago and looking at the building structure which is very similar to the Victorian Style of Leeds Market. I was a bit jealous of all the fresh food and products available there and the diversity of the street food stalls. At that point I hadn’t really thought about running a stall myself but could just see the potential that there was and wanted to be part of it. We opened officially in February although we started trading in December to test out the market and with the full support of the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Gerry Harper, a Champion for Leeds Market and the Market Staff I hope by becoming part of the market, we can hopefully turn it into the Borough Market of the North.


Moorish Team

How have people in Leeds responded to your stall and food demos?

The response has been incredible. So good that we already need more space for a second kitchen to keep up with demand. I’ve even been converted to Twitter and we get lots of nice comments from our customers which is great because we know were doing something right.


What does the future hold for artisan food in Yorkshire?

What we need people to realise is that Artisan food is basically handmade, homemade and generally better for you. In this current economic crisis many people are wiser about how they are spending their money but still want good quality produce. The future is educating people about the benefits of eating less mass produced food, supporting local businesses and creating a more community wise environment where local artisan food is at the heart of it.


What advice would you give to traders looking to set up artisan food stalls in their town?

Go for it! Test your market at small events first, like farmers markets or sell your products to small local businesses. Getting the best advice is also crucial and NCASS are one organisation I would definitely recommend as well as the support your local council can provide. The most important thing with Artisan food is that it is made with Love and if you can convey your passion for your product to your customer then you are halfway there. Why not go and see Kada on Wednesdays’ at Kirkgate Market for his cooking displays where he cooks a basket of produce bought at the market. If you want to get involved in street food in the North contact NCASS today; why not also check out Northern Streats, the street food collective based in Yorkshire and the North.



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