The New York City Vendy Awards will be held tomorrow, September 15th at Governor’s Island. The Vendy Awards are an annual tasting and award ceremony for some of New York City’s best food trucks and carts. The event is sponsored by our friends at the Street Vendor Project and works to shed light on new and upcoming vendors, and raise awareness for the rights of small business owners.
This year the Vendy nominees will fall into several categories from last year, and one new one. The new category is called “Best in Market”, which acts to represent street vendors that sell their goods at street fairs and outdoor markets. This new breed of vendor tends to use locally sourced ingredients and classic techniques, and was heavily supported by the voting public during nominations this year.
Last year the Vendy’s created a new category called “Most Heroic Vendor” to support those that stood up for their community. This year the Most Heroic Vendor is Sammy Kasem, a halal food vendor in Bay Ridge Brooklyn who faced opposition from several brick-and-mortar restaurants. These restaurant owners tried kicking him out of his spot, nailing park benches down to keep his cart out, and threatened and harassed him. Instead of giving up Sammy has continued to fight for his right to make a living in this community.
In the other five categories a wide variety of known and more obscure trucks have been nominated. In the Best Dessert category, Coolhaus Ice Cream sandwiches and Andy’s Italian Ices have been nominated, both members of the New York City Food Truck Association, and well known throughout New York City. Coolhaus originates from California, and is homage to architectural design by using cookies and plenty of flavors of ice cream. Andy’s has the same idea with over 45 flavors of water and crème ices, as well as an espresso bar.
For Best Rookie Vendor our friends at Okadaman and Phil’s Steak’s were nominated, as well as Chinese Mirch, Morocho Peruvian Cuisine, and Cambodian Cusine Torsu. Okadaman is a Japanese food truck serving Osaka-style street food like their iconic Japanese pancake. Phil’s Steaks serves traditional Philly cheese steaks, and is always a huge hit at events.
In the new Best in Market category, Baby Got Back Ribs from the Smorgasborg Flea Market in Brooklyn was nominated, as well as Lumpia Shack. Baby Got Back Ribs uses a 21-seasoning flavoring to make their signature ribs. Lumpia serves Filipino-inspired spring rolls in Brooklyn, and aims to bring Filipino cuisine to the whole world.
In the main category, the Vendy Cup, six vendors have been nominated with a huge variety of tastes. Our friends at the Cinnamon Snail serve vegan food from their ornate burgundy-colored food truck; their Makers Mark donuts last year were a huge hit and took home the Vendy Award. Long-time vendor Uncle Gussy has also been nominated, a signature Greek food truck that keeps cooking all in the family.
We’re thrilled for all the vendors nominated for Vendy Award’s this year, and this event should provide each vendor with publicity and raise awareness for the service they provide to New Yorkers. Check in Monday to see a full recap of the day’s events.
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