Tag Archives: Popitbaby

Almost a ‘Flea’ sweep at the Vendy Awards

| hchin@homereporternews.com

Photos by Helen Klein, Denise Romano and Heather J. Chin

Thousands ate their way through Industry City on Saturday, September 7 for the 9th Annual NYC Vendy Awards—the Oscars of the food vendor world—which was held this year in Brooklyn for the very first time.

The big winner of the day was Brooklyn/Red Hook’s El Olomega and owners Janet and Marcos Lainez, whose traditional, homemade pupusas took home the Vendy Cup—keeping it in the Red Hook Food Vendor family after Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food won it last year.

Luke’s Lobster’s classic Maine-style lobster rolls and lobster-and-cheese sandwiches won over the crowd, garnering them the People’s Taste Award.

Best Dessert went to Elmhurst-based Itizy Ice Cream Truck and their delicious homemade concoctions in refreshingly creative, yet simple flavors such as Blueberry Mojito, Mint Stracciatella and Coffee Brownie—all of which goes to promote founders Kenneth Chen and Ann Yu’s social mission of feeding those in need through supporting Scoop For Meals.

Best Market Vendor went to Queens-based Khao Man Gai NY for their exhaustively researched and carefully prepared authentic Thai chicken-and-rice dish that owners Eric and Emorn Henshaw said is their way of sharing their favorite dish with New Yorkers.

Best of New Jersey went to local/organic-focused Home By The Range, which also won the Messy But Tasty Award.

Rookie of the Year went to Midtown-based Nuchas, whose Argentinian-style savory and sweet empanadas and homemade sauces impressed eaters and judges alike.

Judges included Clarkson Potter editor-at-large Francis Lam, Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver, Food Network Star ( Season 8 ) Justin Warner , meat guru Pat LaFrieda and Every Day with Rachael Ray editor-in-chief Lauren Purcell.

If you haven’t already hit up the kitchens of these Vendy Award winners, don’t worry: several winners—as well as many of the finalists—can be found on weekends through October at the LIC Flea & Food. Luke’s Lobster, Itizy Ice Cream and Khao Man Gai are all popular vendors, as are other Queens stalwarts Cholita Cuencana, Pop It Baby and King Souvlaki.

“LIC Flea has been an amazing experience and we are lucky enough to be a part of it,” enthused Khao Man Gai’s Eric Henshaw.

PopItBaby’s Jackie Walsh agreed, noting that the market has enabled her to “get our brand out to sweet people [every weekend].”

At the 9th Annual NYC Vendy Awards, Luke’s Lobster’s classic Maine-style lobster rolls and lobster-and-cheese sandwiches won the People’s Taste Award.

Best Market Vendor went to Khao Man Gai NY  for their exhaustively researched and carefully prepared authentic Thai chicken-and-rice dish.

Pop It Baby was also at the event.



LIC Flea vendors up for Vendy Awards

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Itizy, Luke’s Lobster, Popitbaby and Khao Man Gai NY

Four LIC Flea & Food vendors are not only shining at the market.

Luke’s Lobster, Itizy, Popitbaby and Khao Man Gai NY are each finalists at the 9th Annual Vendy Awards taking place this Saturday, September 7 from 2:30 to 7 p.m. at 116 39th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Each year finalists come with their food trucks or carts to serve their treats for judges and attendees. The event, emceed by Negin Farsad, also includes beer, wine, non-alcoholic drink, tables and chairs, live music, performances and a raffle. The day will end with a ceremony awarding the winners.

Luke’s Lobster, which could be found at the Flea almost every Saturday and Sunday, is nominated for this year’s Vendy Cup.

“We’re super excited and we’ve been preparing,” said Lauren Gibson, director of catering and events for Luke’s Lobster. “I’m also looking forward to trying all the other food and I’m really excited to see what other people are bringing to the plate.”

Itizy, found at the Flea on Sundays, is going up for the Dessert Award for its handcrafted ice cream and sorbet.

“People love our ice cream and it’s really great to see that in the nomination,” said Itizy co-owner Ann Yu. “This will be for us to really show people not just our ice cream, but what we are really all about.”

Within only four months of starting the business, Khao Man Gai NY was nominated in the Market category.

“We were super excited,” said Khao Man Gai NY co-owner Eric Henshaw. “It’s going to be a great day, everyone that is there is excited to try your food. I think it’s going to be a really good energy, it should be a good day.”

Popitbaby, which started only one month ago, has also been nominated for the Dessert Award.

On the official website for the event, the Vendy Awards are described as “a festival of respect and gratitude for all vendors an everything they provide us.”

The awards also serve as a fundraiser for The Street Vendor Project, a membership-based non-profit organization started to serve and stand up for the rights of New York City vendors.