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Nine finalists to compete for title of Top Street Chef in ‘Vendy Awards’

Written by  Vendy Awards

The Second Annual New Orleans Vendy Awards have announced the nine finalists who will compete to be crowned the city’s top street chef. The finalists will go head-to-head on Thursday, April 3 from 7:00pm-10:30pm at the French Market Entrance (Barracks St. between French Market Place and N. Peters) to see who will be crowned best vendor in 2014. The finalists are: Crepes a la cart, Empanada Intifada, Food Drunk Food Truck, Foodie Call, Frencheeze Food Truck, Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls, La Cocinita, Miss Linda (AKA The Ya-Ka-Mein Lady), and The Nola Truck.

 

Crepes a la cart

Chef/Owner: Kevin Merlin

Food served:  A variety of sweet and savory, fresh-made crêpes

Who knew! Crepes a la Cart purchases 1,000 pounds of Nutella at a time and the 1936 Crêpe Truck is named Nadine after the Chuck Berry song.

 

Empanada Intifada

Chef/Owner: Taylor Jackson

Food served:  Chilean-Style Empanadas with New-Southern soul-food twists

Taylor fell in love with empanadas while working with an organic agriculture business in Ecuador.  Adding in elements of southern cooking that his family taught him as he was growing up has allowed the ever-evolving Empanada Intifada menu to take on a life of its own.

 

Food Drunk Food Truck

Chef/Owners: P.J. Haines & Sean Lynn

Food served:  Chef inspired, alcohol influenced cuisine

These guys love to eat and make people happy! And it shows with their fans who swear by their “king cake burger” to start the street food revolution.

 

Foodie Call

Chef/Owners: Eric Theard & Paul Theard

Food served:  Gastropub-style

Foodie Call are back after popular demand as last year’s winners for both the Vendy Cup and People’s Choice. “Last year the Vendy's were a blast for us mostly because we won everything that there was to win” said Eric Theard of Foodie Call, “It really helped us get our name out there as a business and got us more business because everyone wants to see what the best food truck has to offer. The only thing better than winning the first year is winning back-to-back years so look out because we will be bringing our best again in 2014!”

 

Frencheeze Food Truck

Chef/Owner: Jason Robinson King

Food served:  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Frencheeze wants to make one thing clear: they love bread, butter & cheese and will put cheese on everything!

 

Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls

Chef/Owner: Neesa Peterson

Food served:  Sno-Balls

Neesa loves seeing the smiles on people’s faces as she hands them one of her sno-balls (specialties include Sweet Lou's Nectar Cream, watermelon-jalapeño, Lemon Basil, and Cardamom Cream!)

 

La Cocinita

Chef/Owners: Benoit Angulo & Rachel Billow

Food served:  Latin American--Tacos, Arepas, Quesadillas

Half French and half Venezuelan, Chef Benoit Angulo has been making arepas, a specialty on the food truck, since he was 9 years old.  As a child, Benoit learned to cook French cuisine from his mother at home and Venezuelan cuisine at his friends' houses in Caracas, before his passion for cooking inspired him to attend culinary school as an adult.

 

Miss Linda (AKA The Ya-Ka-Mein Lady)

Chef/Owner: Linda Green

Food served:  New Orleans Soul Food, including Ya-Ka-Mein & Seafood Gumbo

When Miss Linda hears people shout, “Hey, ain’t you the Ya-Ka-Mein Lady?” Her heart swells with pride because she is carrying on a traditional recipe that her mother Shirley Green handed down to her.  The life of a street vendor is challenging, but Miss Linda works hard to help keep New Orleans Second Line and street culture alive.

 

The Nola Truck

Chef/Owner: Chef Nigel P. Henderson

Food served:  Contemporary New Orleans & Southern Cuisine with street appeal

Chef Nigel got his start working under Leah Chase and Edgar "Dooky" Chase IV, and has worked in Fine Dining as well as educated youth in culinary arts at New Orleans own Liberty's Kitchen.

 

For more details and photos of our finalists, visit http://www.vendyawards.streetvendor.org/neworleans/.Tickets are available at http://vendyawardsnola.eventbrite.com/.

  

About the Vendy Awards

The Vendy Awards are an annual event organized by Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, a membership-based organization of more than 1,500 vendors. SVP’s famed Vendy Awards have become one of the most beloved and widely-anticipated food events in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Chicago. In New Orleans, the Vendy Awards will serve as a fundraiser for the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition (NOFTC).

 

About the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center

The Vendy Awards are an annual benefit event for the non-profit the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center. The Street Vendor Project is a membership-based project with more than 1,300 active vendor members who are working together to create a vendors’ movement for permanent change. The Street Vendor Project is part of the Urban Justice Center, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy to various marginalized groups of New Yorkers. To join their list of supporters, please click here.

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 April 2014
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