The Vendy Winner: Snowday’s Grilled Cheese with Maple Syrup + Short Ribs with Kale Pesto
I went to my first Vendy Awards this Saturday on Governor’s Island! Of course the food was all phenomenal – these food businesses are the best of the best. What I loved most was seeing how they all presented themselves to the 2,000+ people in the crowd, and how excited they all were to be there. I loved was talking to those people in the crowd, all of whom were passionate and knowledgeable about food. In other words, it was a total blast.
The results are in, and NYC has crowned 2015’s top street chef: Snowday took home the top prize, the coveted Vendy Cup.
The winners in all six categories are:
The Vendy Cup: Snowday! I am in love with this food truck. First of all, their grilled cheese sandwich smothered in maple syrup at the Vendy’s was fantastic. People in the crowd were buzzing all about it. They are a Farm-to-Truck venture. The fellow I spoke with told me where the cucumber and mint came from in their Cucumber Mint Water, which was also tasty and very refreshing.
People’s Choice: Snowday! Secondly, I love Snowday’s story. They are operated by Drive Change, an organization that hires, teaches and employs formerly incarcerated youth. (Watch this inspiring video.) What that all means at the Vendy’s is that Snowday’s team had such fun energy and enthusiasm, and an in-depth knowledge about their food and their business. They also had the biggest smiles!
Best Market Vendor: Home Frite! I loved seeing people walking around the Vendy’s with big paper cones filled with gorgeous, golden fries and dripping with dipping sauces. I’ve visited them at Smorgasburg Coney all summer!
Best Dessert: Doughnuttery! Who doesn’t love freshly fried mini donuts in many different scrumptious flavors? Try them for yourself at Chelsea Market.
Best Street Drink: Renegade Lemonade! Formerly known as Frittering Away, Renegade Lemonade makes thirst quenching and incredibly innovative lemonade, like Thai Chili Tart Cherry!
With the Amazing Sean Basinski, Director of the Street Vendor Project
“Congratulations to today’s winners and finalists, who represent all the hard-working street vendors who make New York City a more vibrant and delicious place every day. We are proud to bring together a diverse community of street food makers and street food lovers at the Vendy Awards each fall, and look forward to another exciting event next year!” said Sean Basinski, Director, Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center.
The Vendy Awards are an annual event to benefit the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, a membership-based organization that provides advocacy and legal services for nearly 2,000 vendor members. The Vendys’ modest beginnings took place in 2005 in an East Village garage; today, the nation’s first street food event has expanded across the country to include events in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. The Vendy Awards also recently launched Vendy Plaza, a lively outdoor marketplace located in East Harlem’s La Marqueta on Sundays. (NOTE Vendy Plaza has extended their season – they will now be open every Sunday through November 1, 2015!)
Below are more photos of the foods I tried and loved! For more on the Vendy finalists, visit: http://www.vendyawards.streetvendor.org/newyorkcity/
Follow the day’s events with the #Vendys2015 tag on Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT THE STREET VENDOR PROJECT AT THE URBAN JUSTICE CENTER
The Vendy Awards, the first and largest street food event series in the country, are an annual event organized by the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, a membership-based organization of more than 1,800 active vendors who are working together to create a vendor movement for permanent change. SVP’s famed Vendy Awards have determined New York City’s top street chef for eleven years, and have become one of the most beloved and widely-anticipated food events in New York and across the country. The money raised by the events supports the non-profit Street Vendor Project in its advocacy work to promote street food and the people who sell it.
The Street Vendor Project is part of the Urban Justice Center, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy to various marginalized groups of New Yorkers. To join their list of supporters, please click here. Follow the Street Vendor Project on Twitter at @VendorPower.
Spicy, hearty shakshuka from the Shuka Truck – with Chef Gabriel Israel
Comforting Burmese noodles and potatoes from from Burmese Bites
Zesty Chicken Gyro from Lil Zeus Lunch Box
J-shaped puffed corn cone filled with soft serve ice cream from Play J’s Ice Cream – So fun and easy to eat!
Tender cheese pierogi and perfecly cooked Polish sausage from the Old Traditional Polish Cuisine Food Truck
Snowday Food Truck is a project from the wonderful organization, Drive Change
2000+ people attended the 2015 Vendy Awards!