Vendy Awards 2013-New York – Winners Announced
Saturday was a tough day for me. I spent the first half of it, eating pig like a pig at Pig Island, and the second part of the day, I was busy at The Vendy Awards 2013, gorging on the Best Food Trucks, and Street Food, that NY and NJ have to offer.
The Street Vendor’s Project’s, Vendy Awards, now in its 9th year, is an opportunity to honor and recognize, a group of truly hardworking and dedicated people, the street vendors.
If you have never had the pleasure, of working on a food truck, and I doubt that anyone reading this has, here are a few things that you probably don’t know, about the job:
- There is nowhere to pee. You either have to hold it in for a long time, or find a place that will let you use their facilities. And that’s if you aren’t too busy, to shut down the truck for a few minutes.
- Most trucks start the day at around 6AM, and the workday doesn’t end until midnight, after the truck is cleaned, and set up for the next day.
- The pay isn’t all that great, there are no benefits and in the winter it is F**KING FREEZING COLD. In the summertime, the temperature inside the truck can reach 100 degrees inside. Pretty much, because you are working inside a METAL BOX, with stoves, ovens and hot plates.
After sampling all of the food offerings, attendees vote for their faves, in 6 different categories. To quote MC, Negin Farsadm, “These awards are voted on by people with totally average taste buds.”
With one exception. The coveted Vendy Cup, is chosen by a panel of more taste savvy judges.
This year’s esteemed judges panel included:
Francis Lam: Judge on Top Chef Masters and Editor-at-Large at Clarkson Potter
Garrett Oliver: Brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery, Author of The Brewmaster’s Table, Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Companion to Beer
Justin Warner: Host of Food Network’s Rebel Eats, winner of Food Network Star Season 8, co-chef and owner of Bed-Stuy’s Do or Dine
Lauren Purcell: Editor-in-Chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray
Pat LaFrieda: Chief Executive Officer, Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors
Rachael Fauss: Policy & Research Manager for Citizens Union
How Much Is Too Much?
I wanted to eat from every cart and truck at The Vendys, but I had already pigged out, at Pig Island earlier in the day. My belly was compromised, so I decided to focus only on the dessert trucks.
I managed to taste all of the Vendy Award nominated desserts, except Carpe Donut. Sorry, I had no more room in my jeans.
Cuencana Chilita– The Ecuadorian women who own the business, truly embody what the Vendy’s represent. Immigrants who don’t speak English who had an interpreter with them. I would describe their dessert as a VERY, VERY, sweet and sticky, two toned, whipped creamy substance on a cone. Not my favorite, but I kind of wanted them to win on principal.
Liddabit Sweets– The women behind Liddabits caramels have ventured into the dessert world with Butterscotch Pudding topped with caramel popcorn.It was OUT OF THIS WORLD. They were careful to serve a small portion and I was thankful for that!
Odd Fellows Ice Cream Company– Totally new to me, but will definitely be seeking them out, in the future. I sampled the Corn Bread Ice Cream, which was SOOO GOOD.
popitbaby.com– Coolest.Truck.Ever.- A vintage Citroen H Van serving up deliciously light frozen fruit bars. I had the Watermelon Mint. Not overly sweet, and very refreshing. Good news, is that they have new products in the works, including SODA and BOOZE POPS.
Del’s NYC– A tasty and light slushy in a cup. Del’s was created in Naples, Italy in 1840, by Great Grandfather Deluca, and has evolved to serve the 21st century Frozen Lemonade from a cool old school truck.
Itizy– Winners of the dessert category, their giant aqua truck serves specialty organic ice cream, cake pops, and sorbets. I tried the vanilla ice cream, and told that Itizy, had searched high and low, to find the PERFECT vanilla, from Madagascar.
The Cinnamon Snail– Nominated for the Vendy Cup, but didn’t win. They did, however take home a well deserved, HERO award. At the end of the evening, they were handing out extra donuts. Stuffed to the gills, I still managed to scarf down, one of the hazelnut chocolate vegan donuts… cause it was so freaking delicious!
Hero Awards- Bonus Category 2013– Shout out to all 50 of the HERO AWARD winners, an award given to members of the NYC Food Truck Association who donated food to the victims of Hurricane Sandy in the power outage days after the storm. I was hanging with the Heros from Coolhaus. I remember seeing Freya handing out treats after the storm. Bless her heart!
I would also be remiss, if I didn’t mention Nuchas , for accepting the Rookie Award, with the most enthusiasm. If you had seen them on stage, you would have thought that they won a trip around the world.
Winners Announced At The Vendy Awards- Complete List Of Vendy Awards 2013
The Vendy Cup: El Olomega
Best Dessert: Itizy Ice Cream
Best Market Vendor: Khao Man Ghai
Best of New Jersey: Home by the Range
Rookie of the Year: Nuchas
People’s Taste Award: Luke’s Lobster
Tide’s Messy Yet Tasty Award: Home By The Range
Kudos to the Street Vendor Project’s Helena Tubis and Sean Basinski for such a great event!
*The Street Vendor Project is a membership-based project with more than 1,500 active vendor members who are working together to create a vendors’ movement for permanent change.