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An apparently misreported comment from a Bangkok city government official set off a storm of protest recently, when he was quote as saying all street food would be banned in the capital. The government has rushed to reassure roadside gourmands that this is not true - Bangkok is in fact planning an international street food festival. But street food vendors have been moved from some city centre areas, and the authorities say they will enforce stricter hygiene, and try to clear pavements where they are blocked, leaving lingering anxiety over the future of the quintessentially Bangkok cuisine.
The need to clear pavements and ensure food safety are legitimate concerns - but the BMA's record of cultural sensitivity and flexibiity in enforcing its edicts is not encouraging. There are disagreements too over what defines 'street food' - some of the finest examples are produced in shophouses, open to the street.
is the author of "Thailand's Best Street Food" and writes the blog Bangkok Glutton.
is the publisher of "Street Food: 39 Great Places Under 100 Bahts".
, a freelance writer and editor specializing in culture and travel, is the author of "Very Thai. Every Day Popular Culture".
is a celebrity chef who has run several successful restaurants in Australia, UK and Thailand, including the Nahm restaurant in Bangkok, and is the author of "Thai Street Food", a collection of this favorite 100 recipes of the street.
Join us for what promises to be an invigorating discussion with some of the city's greatest street food afficionados.
Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand
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