The sixth annual Vendy Awards celebration will happen September 25 on Governors Island, and the Street Vendor Project has released the names of the five finalists who will compete live at the event’s “grill-to-grill cook-off to determine New York’s top street chef.” Judged by a panel including food writer Molly O’Neill, restaurateur Stephen Starr, Epicurious editor Tanya Steel, and Centrico chef (and aspiring street-foodist) Aarón Sanchez, the winner gets the coveted Vendy Cup, as well as the assurance of seriously long lines for the foreseeable future. There are separate awards for dessert trucks, rookie trucks, and people’s choice, but it’s the main event that’s the big draw. Check out the nominees:
After only a year as a street chef, Yassir Zraouli and his Bistro Truck have foodies buzzing about his Moroccan inspired bistro-fare that’s bringing the casual vibe and deep flavors of the Mediterranean to high end fare like lamb and fish.
Brother and sister “Rosa” Ofelia Cardoso and “Vilio” Viliulfo have served up traditional Mexican fare from their hometown, Puebla for two decades - after 17 years in the Bronx, they stormed midtown with their El Rey de Sabor cart three years ago.
Astoria’s self-appointed “King of Falafel” and returning Vendys nominee from 2007 and 2009, Freddy Zeidaies says his chicken platter with pickled turnips is ready for its turn in the winner’s circle.
Rain, wind, and blizzards haven’t keep Liliana Velasquez and Adolfo Gonzalez from serving up authentic Venezuelan street food 362-days-a-year at their Patacon Pisao truck in Inwood.
After nabbing the Rookie Vendor crown last year, Oleg Voss of Schnitzels and Things is taking his hand-pounded, lightly-breaded, fried- to-perfection cutlets to the big leagues and hoping to continue their winning streak.
The awards, which raise money for the Street Vendor Project, carry particular urgency this year in the wake of City Council member Jessica Lappin’s anti-food-truck bill, which would strip the license of any vendor that earns three parking violations. Tickets to the all-you-can-eat Vendy Awards run $85 and up, and are available online.
Vendy Awards [Official site]