The Vendy Awards is "the Oscars of street food awards" and was started by Street Vendor Project Director Sean Basinski. The annual event is a celebration of small businesses and entrepreneurs; It's also a friendly competition between local and domestic street food vendors for the most coveted cup in the street food industry- The Vendy Cup. The vendors seen here are the cream of the crop. This year's Vendy Awards was held at New York City's Governor's Island- the island itself is shaped like an ice cream cone with one scoop of mint or green tea ice cream (don't believe us? see for yourselves!). Lucky folks who were able to purchase tickets to the food fest had unlimited access to all the street food they desired. Guests voted for their favorite in four categories:
Finalists were Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls, Coolhaus, Monsieur Sing Lassi, La Bella Torte Dessert Truck, Melt Bakery and Andy's Italian Ices & Espresso Bar.
Rookie of the Year
Finalists were Phil's Steaks, Okadaman, Chinese Mirch, Cambodian Cuisine Torsu, Morocho and Fun Buns.
Best of Market Vendors
Finalists were Pestle & Mortar, Mayhem & Stout, Baby Got Back Ribs, Parantha Alley and Lumpia Shack.
The Vendy Cup Award was rewarded to one street vendor whose impeccable and yummy dishes couldn't leave the judges' taste buds.
The Vendy staff also awarded Sammy Kassan the 2012 Most Heroic Vendor of the Year Award for staying strong and fighting for his right to sell at his usual spot in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, despite experiencing racism and bullying (read more about Sammy here).
The 8th Annual Vendy Awards was hosted by Food Network's James Cunningham and judges included Food & Wine Restaurant Editor Kate Krader, BaoHaus Chef Eddie Huang, NYC Council member Julissa Ferreras and Brooklyn-based music group Das Racist (Top Chef Masters' host Kelly Choi was also said to judge though she was nowhere in sight).