2012 Vendy Awards Hits Governor's Island with Proud Chefs and Drooling Mouths

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by Nora Bosworth

About 1,500 food lovers swarmed Governor's Island on Saturday to sample two dozen food trucks for the 8th Annual Vendy Awards.  The grand prize went to the Piaztlan Authentic Mexican food truck based in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which served their beef, pork and goat tacos to excited attendees. "This is my American Dream," said Piaztlan owner Eleanor Perez in [The Daily News], upon receiving her Vendy Cup. She emigrated from Mexico forty years ago, and runs a family business out of her truck with her son and daughter. The People's Taste Award went to Cinnamon Snail, a vegetarian organic truck serving such delicacies as smoked Portabello mushroom carpaccio and raw Jalapeño brownies. The owner, Adam Sobel, saw the publicly voted on award as a big victory for the vegetarian and organic food movement. The Most Heroic Vendor went to Sammy Kassem, who cooks halal food in Bay Ridge and withstood persecution from neighboring restaurants in recent months. According to the [New York Times](http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/a-hero-to-street-vendors/) local restaurant owners organized to give Kassem the boot, claiming he was dirtying their streets and ruining business with his cart; his lawyer alleges Kassem faced discrimination because he is Middle Eastern. The Vendy Awards are hosted annually by the Street Vendor Project, which provides legal and business services to such vendors. Meanwhile, the Best Dessert award went to Melt Bakery, whose owner Julian Plyter offers inventive ice cream sandwiches, like artisanal banana ice cream nestled between two peanut butter cookies. Keep an eye out for his truck by the High Line park, or you can visit his new store at 132 Orchard Street. Yum.



The Results are in for the 8th Annual Vendy Awards!

Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Wins the Vendy Cup

New York, NY ? The results are in, and NYC has crowned 2012's top street chef. Hundreds of foodies flocked to Governors Island today to cast their vote at the 8th annual Vendy Awards, where Piaztlan Authentic Mexican took home the top prize: the coveted Vendy Cup.

The winners in all five categories are:

?  The Vendy Cup: Piaztlan Authentic Mexican

?  Best Dessert: Melt Bakery

?  Best Market Vendor: Lumpia Shack

?  Rookie of the Year: Phil's Steaks

?  People's Taste Award: Cinnamon Snail

In addition, the Most Heroic Vendor award was presented to Bay Ridge halal vendor Sammy Kassem, who was honored for withstanding immense opposition from anti-vendor business owners in his community.

The Vendy Awards are an annual event organized by Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, a membership-based organization ofmore than 1,500 vendors. SVP's famed Vendy Awards have determined New York City's top street chef for 8 years, and have become one of the most beloved and widely-anticipated food events in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

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