On Saturday, June 14, 2014, the The Vendy Awards was back in Philadelphia by popular demand at Penn Treaty Park. Commonly coined “The Vendy’s,” it is the first competition of it’s kind for street food starting 10 years ago in New York City as a fund-raiser for street vendors. The Vendy’s have since spread to Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Chicago, as well as Philadelphia, where the contest is in now its fourth year.
Nominees are selected by public submissions, and winners were determined after a panel of five fierce female judges cast their votes. The panel included Felicia D’Ambrosio of Federal Donuts, CookNSolo Restaurants; Lily Fischer of Cake Life Bake Shop; Danya Henninger of Zagat, Philly.com, and Philly Beer Scene Magazine; Ann Karlen of Fair Food; Nicole Woon of Penn Appetit and Lily Cope served as Emcee, COOK. After all votes were tallied, the Pie Stand was crowded victor of the Vendy Cup. The People’s Choice award winner was The Cow and The Curd, The Rookie of the Year went to Oink and Moo BBQ and the Best Dessert award was given to Bonjour Creperie.
The Vendy’s became an intense cook-off between the most popular sidewalks chefs in the city as well as a fundraiser to support culinary entrepreneurs and the sustainable food movement. Local foodies have witnessed a food-truck boom in Philadelphia, as the national movement has grown substantially over the past few years. The Vendy’s reportedly sold out 750 tickets for Saturday’s event which featured trucks offering tacos, quesadillas, mac & cheese, crepes, BBQ, delicious ice creams, and so much more. The Cow and the Curd also delivered their fresh fried cheese curds, landing them the People’s Choice Award for the second year in a row.
For only $55 guests were able to eat food from all the finalists while enjoying an unlimited fill of beer and ciders. Admission fees go to the cost of operating the festival, and any additional profits benefit The Food Trust, the non-profit organization behind the Night Market events over the last two years. For over 20 years, The Food Trust has been working to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be celebrating all the culinary diversity the Philadelphia food truck scene has to offer for now four consecutive years,” said Sean Basinski of the Urban Justice Center. “Philadelphia is such a vivid example of a place that embraces everything we stand for, part of which is assist the entrepreneurial spirit and rights of the hard working people who create outrageously inspiring curb-side cuisine for the masses on a daily basis.”
Occurring annually, The Vendy Awards benefit the non-profit The Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center. The Street Vendor Project is a membership-based project with more than 1,800 active vendor members who are working together to create a vendors’ movement for permanent change. The Urban Justice Center, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy to various marginalized groups of New Yorkers.