Yesterday, the 7th annual Vendy Awards brought together 22 street vendors from New York City and New Jersey for a day of food and competition on Governor’s Island. Solber Pupusas, a street cart dishing out traditional Salvadorian corn patties and other Latin specialties, won the event’s ultimate recognition of sidewalk talent, the Vendy Cup.
Other big winners included Korean barbecue vendor Korilla BBQ, which took Rookie Vendor of the Year; Souvlaki GR, an authentic Greek street food cart which carried home the 2011 People’s Taste Award; Wooly’s Ice, which was awarded Best Dessert Truck; and Cinnamon Snail, which won the contest’s Maker’s Mark Street Food Challenge, a contest in which vendors were asked to incorporate the sponsor’s product into their cooking. The Newark-based Taco Truck won the Best of New Jersey category.[Photos by Matt Bock]
While the five awards belonging to categories were determined by popular vote, the Vendy Cup was awarded to its recipient by a panel of eight judges from a variety of professional (and frequently food-related) fields. They were columnist John T. Edge, restaurateur Peter Hoffman, chef Gavin Keysen, editors Gayle King and Kat Kinsman, foodie Zeina Muna, comedian Colin Quinn, and councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito. The Vendy Awards were hosted by the Food Network’s Sunny Anderson. George Urgo, NYCity Slickers, City Billies and Flearoy provided musical entertainment for the event.
With lines that stretched from five to 25 minutes, event attendees enjoyed Maker’s Mark marinated pulled pork pizza, crispy catfish tacos with Mexican tartar sauce and chipotle salsa, white sangria popsicles, Greek street fries, and maple bacon cupcakes, among other dishes and desserts. Proceeds benefited the Street Vendor Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the oft-threatened rights of city vendors.
— Matt Bock
· All Coverage of the Vendys [~ENY~]