Vendy Awards Celebrates Street Food Vendors New, Old
The New York edition of the Vendy Awards took place Sept. 7 in Brooklyn, N.Y., where some 30 food truck, cart and market vendors shared their wares in hopes of taking home an award in one (or more) of six categories. Presented by and benefitting the Street Vendor Project, a member-based nonprofit that works for street vendors' rights, the event offered a leisurely afternoon of tasting, drinking and lounging, culminating in a short ceremony to reveal the winners, which included street and market vendors new and old. Top honors—the coveted Vendy Cup—went to El Olomega (pictured above), a 23-year-old business serving up Salvadoran cuisine.
Vendors took home prizes in five other categories: Rookie covered industry newcomers; that prize went to Nuchas (pictured below), which entered the market less than two years ago serving baked artisanal empanadas.
An honorary Hero category turned the spotlight on the dozens of vendors who donated more than 350,000 hot meals to victims of Hurricane Sandy, an effort orchestrated by the New York City Food Truck Association.
A panel of celebrity judges offered their expertise. On hand were meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda; food writer Francis Lam; Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery; Lauren Purcell, editor in chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine; Elettra Wiedemann, a writer for Vogue and food enthusiast; and Justin Warner, a chef and past winner of “Food Network Star.”
One category was all about the people: the People’s Choice, which went to Luke’s Lobster. Best of New Jersey and Desserts rounded out the categories, with locally focused Home by the Range (pictured below) and ice creamery Itizy taking home those awards, respectively. Home by the Range also won a special category created in collaboration with event sponsor Tide: Tide's Messy Yet Tasty Award.
The Vendy Awards also take place in Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Philadelphia.
See more photos of the event on the Specialty Food Association's Flickr page.
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