2014 NYC Vendy Awards Preview

September 8, 2014

New York City’s Vendy Awards are right around the corner! On September 13 I will be hopping a ferry to Governor’s Island where this year’s esteemed street vendors will be competing in a cook-off for an esteemed Vendy Awards. For those who don’t know, The Vendy Awards are like the street food Oscars. They bring together all types of vendors, from street carts to gourmet food trucks, highlighting the best the city has to offer.

The awards have been around in NYC since 2005, but last year I was honored to be a judge at the first-ever Chicago Vendy Awards, and this year I’ll be bringing you loads of pics and thoughts from this year’s NYC line up now that I’ve relocated. Man v. Food’s newly svelte Adam Richman is one of the judges this year, alongside others such as chefs and restaurant owners:

Judges:

  • Adam Richman: Food Expert; Host of the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food
  • Chef Alex Guarnaschelli: Food Network and Cooking Channel Personality
  • Florent Morellet: Former owner of the beloved eponymous NYC French diner Florent
  • Alicia Quarles: E! News Correspondent
  • Sarah Simmons: Chef/Owner of City Grit, A Culinary Salon
  • Maria Torres-Springer: Commissioner of NYC’s Department of Small Business Services
  • Citizen Judge Hannah Lyter

The awards categories include:

  • Vendy Cup
  • People’s Taste (the only award voted on by the attendees)
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Best Market Vendor
  • Best Dessert
  • Masters Cup (brings back past Vendy Cup winners).
  • Heroic Vendor Award goes to Baare Batchiri, the first non-food vendor to receive this honor (Batchiri sells cell phones on the street and was stabbed while working, but chased down his attacker)

The Finalists include loads of vendors, including the Cinnamon Snail which I already know is ah-mazing, as well as Nuchas Empanadas. A few that I’m going to try to hit first are:

  • Zha Pan Asian - Asian’s street food (think: Asian Fried Riceballs, Korean Chicken and Waffles)
  • Hallo Berlin – German soul food, not a common truck concept!
  • Calexico – named Best Mexican by Zagat,  Mexican/Southern BBQ-inspired food
  • Solber Pupusas – <3 Pupusas
  • Shangai Sogo – Asian “tapas”
  • Ramen Burger – Enough said.
  • Ice & Vice – “cold treats use experimental, high-end flavor profiles”

Help me decide who else I should keep my eye on! There’s only so much room in the human stomach, and the lines will likely be sizeable, so unfortunately I won’t be able to try them all. Some of you guys might be more familiar with these NYC trucks than I am (being a n00b here and all).

Let me know on the comments or on Twitter if I *have* to hit up one that’s not on my short list!

 

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