Jez Felwick is The Bowler – you may have seen him at a festival last summer or driving about in his grass covered van. He sells the most delicious hand crafted meat and vegetarian, erm, meat balls. He wishes he was a little bit taller and he is pretty much, actually now a baller. Josh Jones had a chat with him.
How did you get in to making meatballs?
I’ve always loved food – and not just for survival’s sake. Always dabbled in the kitchen, learnt about it and wondered if I should / could get involved. Then when I went to a wedding in the US I was struck, not literally thankfully, by the streetfood trucks out there and thought this is exactly what London needs.
Tell us about your balls, Bowlerman. I haven’t said that since my time in the rodeo prison.
As for the balls, we often have meatballs as kids so they have that association with fun times. I also wanted to take something simple that people all over the world love and do it as well as I can, and hopefully, even better than they expect. It can be a really creative sphere as there are all sorts of combinations and by using real cuts of meat, mincing them, they can really be outstanding. Gourmet meatballs seemed the way to go.
Have you got any new flavours coming up? Any Olympic specials?
It’s important to me to use local and seasonal food where I can, so right now our veg ball (yes, they aren’t all meat…if it can be made round it’s in) incorporates delicious English asparagus and wild garlic. I recently created a Smokin’ Bacon Ball for Richard Bacon’s party; using beef chuck steak, smoked paprika and pancetta, it went down well – so that might become more of a regular on the board. I should have some sporty versions for the Olympics ready to roll but haven’t quite nailed them yet…any suggestions welcome!
Do you have to water your grass covered van – the Lawn Ranger – to keep it fresh? Do you have to mow it?
Yeah, it’s been a bit worrying with this drought. Thankfully it’s been tipping down with rain everyday so we appear to have got away with it.
Where can we find you and your tasty treats? Do you roam around London randomly or can we pin you down anywhere?
We’re a regular at eat.st – currently Thursday lunchtimes in May at King’s Cross – but check their site as it changes month by month. Eat.St has also got a Friday & Saturday residency at The Imperial Arms on The King’s Road with rotating traders pitching up. I am experimenting with a little ball menu on Tues-Thurs nights. On Friday nights from 4 May we’ll also be at Streetfeast London, with some great food slinging hotshots.
We’re at various gigs and festivals too, including Alexandra Palace and Wilderness in August. Watch this space as the Lawn Ranger will be rolling into a space near you soon.
Photo: Tom Medwell