This past weekend was my favorite kind of weekend because it was centered around delicious food. I am writing specifically about going the Vendy Awards and it was for the first time. The Vendy Awards is an award event dedicated to the food trucks of New York City. Success with having a food truck is very difficult in New York City with the competition from restaurants, other food trucks and difficulties from the police. The Vendy Awards were created by the Street Vendor Project. It is an organization that helps defend food truck operators, help them get a vendors license, defend them if they are ticketed, and aid with any other business related issues that they need.
Where Do the Vendy Awards Take Place?
The Vendy Awards happen yearly on Governors Island, the island city park between Manhattan and Staten Island. The finalists meet on the island for judging by official judges and the crowd that attends the event. It has become a big event, growing larger every year with more and more crowds.
The finalists in each category; best breakfast, rookie of the year, best of market; best dessert, and Vendy cup all congregate on the island to let the judges and the crowds have a taste before marking their votes. Each category has five finalists and a ticket to the event allows you unlimited tastes to be sure about your vote. It is a great way of making a day on Governors Island picnicking with a blanket and freshly made food all day.
Who Were The Judges And How were the Finalists Chosen?
The judges were the famous in the New York food scene: television producer and Emmy winning food writer Kelly Choi; author, and Professor Marion Nestle; NY Senate candidate and activist Jessica Ramos; President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island Michael Samuelian; and Executive Chef of Oceana Bill Telepan.
The food trucks are nominated by their customers and the votes are tallied by the people at the Street Vendor Project. The top five in each category were invited to compete at the Vendy Awards. And that I who the judges are voting on. Let me tell you I am not sure how the judges could have done this because I had about four different delicious samples and was full for about three hours. The food was so good.
Who Were the Finalists?
The food comes from all over the world, fusion and traditional and it is varied in tastes from Indian, Pakistani, Italian, Ethiopian, Burmese, Greek, Colombian, Bangladeshi, Mexican, Chinese, Turkish, Thai, Afghan, Indonesian, Salvadorean, Romanian, and Laotian. The 25 finalists a just a drop in the bucket for the 20,000 food vendors that sell food on the streets of New York City. I can’t say enough how spoiled New Yorkers are for choice in the world’s cuisine. Check out this video for the finalists for the Vendy Cup.
Which Food Trucks Did I Get To Sample At the Vendy Awards?
I sampled quite a bit before I got full. I also had dietary restrictions to look out for but there were enough choices that I didn’t feel left out of enjoying the different cuisines.
I tried Cheong Fun Rice Noodle Cart and got the fish curry balls with rice noodles and hot sauce. So good! I am already a fan of rice noodle and this was the first thing I ate and it was a great choice.
Then, I went to the food truck that ended up winning the Vendy Cup, Royal Grill Halal. I got the combo platter for a little taste of everything. The food was so good and fresh. I have to visit this cart in their usual spot because they deserved the win.
I tried Peking Duck spring rolls from Hometown Spring Pancakes. Sidenote, I love Peking Duck. It was pretty good. Unfortunately, I got to the cart last so the duck was cold, I am sure that when it is hot and freshly cut, it is excellent. The duck was still moist and well seasoned, I just needed to be twenty minutes earlier.
I went over to the D’Abbruzzo cart which is Italian food, but they were out of food by the time I got there. I missed out on their lamb skewers, Arrosticini, darn.
I got Turkish food from the Mannahatta Mediterranean and that was a combo platter of all that they were serving. It was pretty substantial as well.
Ieatlaofood served delicious food as well, it was so pretty on the plate!
By the end of the day, I was waddling with a full tummy, I couldn’t eat any more food. I loaded up on entreés and didn’t get to taste dessert. And I watched all the final judgments of the winners. This is such an amazing ticket to get, so worth the price. If you are interested in going, mark your calendar for next year.
Have you been to a similar event? What was your experience? Tell me all about it in the comments.
Until our next rendezvous…