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Multi-award winning chef feeds masses at street food fest

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Italian-Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco plating up Galician squid with new potatoes and vegetables at the 4th Lyon Street Food Festival on Sept 14, in Lyon, central eastern France.

Lyon

MAURO Colagreco, the multiple award-winning Italian-Argentinian chef, joined 80 of his fellow cooks on Saturday to serve food at the Lyon Street Food Festival in south-east France.

Colagreco, the chef at the Mirazur in Menton on France's ritzy Cote d'Azur, is the only foreign chef working in France to have been awarded three stars in the Michelin guide.

He also received the award for Best Restaurant at the influential trade list, the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards, in Singapore on June 26.

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But on Saturday he was serving up dishes in one of Lyon's squares, at the fourth edition of the four-day event.

He was joined by chefs from around the world, with professionals coming from Canada, Turkey and four destinations specially featured at this year's festival: Kobe, Hong Kong, Madrid and Finland.

Those attending had to only pay four or five euros (S$6 to $7.65) for their meals. Colagreco served portions of Galician squid with new potatoes and vegetables in a Mexican Pico de Gallo style.

"It wasn't easy, precisely because we use quality products, like squid, which are fairly expensive products," he said. "But we always manage - especially when we do them in large quantities - to get to an acceptable price," he added.

Other Michelin-starred chefs taking part included Romain Meder, chef of the Plaza Athenee in Paris; Mathieu Vianney, chef of the Mere Brazier in Lyon; and Serge Vieira, who cooks at the Chaudes-Aigues in the central French town of Cantal.

Emeric Richard, co-organiser of the festival, said the event was about introducing great cooking in a simple way to the general public.

The organisers even asked this year's participants to serve slightly larger portions. That way, visitors could have a three-course meal with drinks for no more than 20 euros.

The festival attracted 24,000 people last year. This year's event runs until Sunday. AFP