It was simply a stunning weekend at The 14th Annual Vendy Awards on Governors Island.
The Oscars of Street Food awarded the coveted Vendy Cup to Royal Grill Halal Food. Other awards included People’s Choice to Burmese Bites, Market Winner to D’Abruzzo NYC; Rookie Winner Nansense, Best Breakfast to Mama Jo’s Breakfast Cart, and Best Dessert to Baonanas.
“This is great just to be nominated,” said Abdullah Rahmati of Nansense about his winning truck. “These are all my mom’s recipes. They are all in there (in the truck) with her right now. We wanted to share the food with everyone. It was a shame just for us in the family to have it. We wanted everyone to enjoy her cooking.
Throughout the day attendees enjoyed delightful cart tastes and divine wine samplings from Santa Cristina Wines. `
The Vendy Awards is an annual street food competition and fundraiser for the Street Vendor Project, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy for street vendors.
“Basically we started The Vendy Awards to fundraise money for the Street Vendor Project,” stated Street Vendor Project Co-Director, Mohamed Attia. “Street vendors for many years did not have a voice. So, now we have a voice. We are trying to do our best at every event to help the vendors the best we can.”
And it is truly an amazing voice that they have now. All around New York City citizens are made aware of the great work of the organization an recognize the hardworking individuals who keep the city buzzing with joy through the work they do.
This year’s judges included: Bill Telepan, Executive Chef, Oceana; Jessica Ramos, community organizer and candidate for NY State Senate (District 13, Queens); Kelly Choi, food/lifestyle journalist and producer; Marion Nestle, NYU Food Studies professor and prize-winning author; and Michael Samuelian, President and CEO of Trust for Governors Island
“Street vendors are such a vital part of the NYC food scene,” said Executive Chef Bill Telepan. “I always catch a bite from them whenever I’m running around town, and am excited to taste what the competitors have to offer this year!”
Twenty-five vendors are selected by public nomination, and the winners are chosen by attendees and a panel of well-renowned judges.
In partnership with Trust for Governors Island , The Vendy Awards serves as the main fundraiser for the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center . With more than 2,000 active vendor members, The Street Vendor Project is working to create a vendors’ movement for permanent change. SVP publishes reports and file lawsuits to raise public awareness about vendors and the enormous contribution they make to our city. They also work to help vendors grow their businesses by linking them with small business training and loans. Now more than ever, these funds are sorely needed to protect the immigrant culture that makes New York a city unlike any other.