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Street Food

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Anthony Bourdain street food quote

“I think of [street food] as the antidote to fast food; it’s the clear alternative to the king, the clown and the colonel.” – Anthony Bourdain

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legalize-street-food

CHICAGO, IL - Following in the footsteps of their food truck brethren, Chicago’s street cart vendors are pushing for legalization of their trade.

Currently, vendors may sell only raw, uncut produce or prepackaged frozen desserts, with the cost of licenses ranging from $100 to $275. That means tamale stands, “brew hubs” peddling coffee, and even the selling of a cut fruit salad is illegal.

A coalition called Street Vendors for Justice has drafted an ordinance that will bring vendors out of the “shadow economy and into the legitimate economy,” said Beth Kregor, director of the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, which is championing the cause.

The clinic operates under the the umbrella of the University of Chicago’s law school and has been conducting a series of town hall meetings with the Street Vendors Association (more commonly known as AVA, Asociacion de Vendedores Ambulantes) to educate existing and potential street vendors about the ordinance and stir support for the legislation among the general public.

Working closely with the city’s Public Health Department, the Institute for Justice Clinic has crafted a proposal that takes the city’s priorities into account: safe, clean food that’s easy to inspect. The ordinance would only allow vendors to sell food that’s been prepared and packaged in a licensed kitchen — no cooking would be permitted at the operator’s home or on the cart — and maintained at a proper temperature.

Find the entire article at dnainfo.com <here>

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the-tasteTonight on The Taste the mentors are challenging their teams with creating delicious dishes inspired by classic “street food.” Sandwiches, seafood – and, of course, the classic English delicacy of fish & chips – are on the menu this week as 12 remaining competitors battle it out for the chance to stay in “The Taste” kitchen another week.  

Chef Roy Choi is guest judge this week where Anthony Bourdain shares a secret weapon with his kitchen. Spam! Find out who wins on “The Taste” THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

“The Taste” features no-holds barred Chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert chef/author Ludo Lefebvre, and joining “The Taste” this season, chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson. It is from Kinetic Content and is executive-produced by Chris Coelen, Matilda Zoltowski, Emma Conway, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Brian Smith who is the director.

For more information on “The Taste,” visit ABC.com/The Taste.

Follow them on:

Facebook: Facebook.com/TheTasteABC
Twitter: Twitter.com/TheTasteABC
Tumblr: http://thetasteabc.tumblr.com
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/thetasteabc/

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Berlin Film FestivalThe Berlin Film Festival’s Culinary Cinema program will be taking food to the street this year.

In collaboration with Markthalle Neun and Slow Food Berlin, the festival has launched its Street Food initiative. It has arranged to have six trucks that will offer food to go at the corner of Alte Potsdamer Strasse and Varian-Fry-Strasse during the fest.

The move is part of its Culinary Cinema program, which shows films focusing on food and ecological topics, as well as staging special meals at the Gropius Mirror Restaurant that are inspired by the pics in its main section, prepared according to the Slow Food motto “good, clean and fair.”

“Berlin is a place where gastronomic traditions from around the world cross,” the festival stated Monday. “Over the last decades, the migration of different groups has caused cuisines to fuse as well as changed people’s tastes.

“Markthalle Neun saw the potential of this and since April 2013 has organized ‘Street Food Thursday.’ For this initiative, it was awarded the title ‘Gastronomic Innovator 2013? by the renowned ‘Berlin Master Chefs’ jury.”

Festival director Dieter Kosslick said: “We have supported Markthalle Neun from the start. Now the Street Food cooks will offer festival-goers delicious and healthy culinary alternatives.”

Find the entire article at Variety.com <here>

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Mobile Cuisine is an online trade magazine that covers the mobile food industry; we cover the industry as a whole and have strayed away from covering one specific region of the country.

With that said, there are numerous blogs across the country that cover specific cities and regions where food trucks operate. From New York to Miami and Toronto to Dallas there are bloggers that cover the gamut of mobile food businesses. This poll has been set up to find out which local mobile food blog is the favorite in North America.

Last year, our winner was Alex Levine’s Food Truck Freak out of Chicago. Can she retain her title or will another blogger be able to take the title from her?

Favorite Food Truck Blog 2012

To find out, we have listed the Top 17 local food truck blogs. Your job is to vote for your favorite.

This poll will run through Friday, November 8th (11:59 PM Central Time). Once the votes have been tabulated, the winner will be announced. The winner will be able to claim the title of Favorite Local Mobile Food Truck Blog as well as have the chance to be part of a feature story here at Mobile Cuisine that delves into the individuals who run these blogs and why they write what they do.

So help us spread the word for your favorites.

List of local mobile food blogs as well as links to their sites:

Atlanta Street Food Coalition – Atlanta, GA

Austin Food Carts – Austin, TX

DFW Food Truck Foodie – Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

Food Carts Portland – Portland, OR

Food Trailers Austin – Austin, TX

Food Truck Fiesta – Washington DC

Food Truck Freak – Chicago, IL

Hub Food Trucks – Boston, MA

Looking for Food Trucks – Los Angeles/Orange County, CA

Miami Food Trucks – Miami, FL

Nashville Food Truck Junkie - Nashville, TN

New York Street Food – New York, NY

San Diego Food Trucks – San Diego, CA

Seattle Food Truck – Seattle, WA

Street Food Columbus – Columbus, OH

Street Grindz – Hawaii

Toronto Food Trucks - Toronto, Canada

The Poll is Closed!!!

We apologize to those bloggers we may have missed. There are many mobile food blogs that didn’t meet our criteria for this contest as many bloggers cover other topics than mobile food, have not posted in the last month, or have their blog solely set up as a Facebook page.

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Mobile Cuisine is pleased to announce a new contest for the readers of our site. This contest will be used to determine what food truck menu items are their favorites.

As many of you may already know, Richard Myrick; the editor-in-chief of Mobile Cuisine is also the author of Running a Food Truck for Dummies. Last year he was contracted to write a second book relating to the the mobile food industry. Unfortunately due to timing issues this contract was cancelled.

Since that time he has been planning to continue this project on his own and now is the time we are asking for your help on this book. This book will not center around the operations of a food truck, but more about the cuisine that mobile food vendors are creating from their rolling bistros.

This food truck cookbook will be a recipe/cookbook that shares the best of the mobile food industry with the world. From appetizers to deserts, every food imaginable that is sold from food trucks will be covered in this tome.

Last year’s winner was What the Fork from Scranton PA and their Sriracha Taco.

what-the-fork scranton-pa

The cuisines and style of meal items covered in the book will be:

Breakfast:

  • Egg Dishes
  • Waffles and Doughnuts

Side Dishes

  • Appetizers and Sides
  • Salads
  • Soups

Entrées

  • African
  • Asian
  • European
  • American (this includes North and South American cuisine)
  • Fusion

Desserts

  • Cookies and Cupcakes
  • Other Desserts
  • Beverages

The winners of each of the of cuisine types will have the opportunity to have their recipes published and featured in the upcoming book. Submissions can be vegan,vegetarian or packed full of meat.

Please note that each of these vendors will have the option to not have their recipes published…that will be their choice.

To be eligible, the menu item must come from a food truck, food cart or trailer. The vendor can be located in any country from around the world but must have been open since September of 2013. This contest will be run in two parts, the first will be suggestions from the readers. The initial submission portion of this contest begins today and will run through Friday, October 18 at 12PM CT.

Fill out the contact form below or send in your submission to contest@mobile-cuisine.com. Let us know:

  • The name of the truck and their location.
  • The menu item name and what type of cuisine or meal type it is.

Food truck owners can submit themselves and anyone can submit a vote for multiple food trucks or multiple menu items, just make sure your submission is clear or we will not be able to count your submission as a vote.

The top submissions will be part of the top 5 from each area which will be opened for voting on Monday, October 21st.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

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CHICAGO, IL - The Vendy Awards have been described as “The Oscars of Street Food,” and for the first time they made their debut in Chicago ( at Kendall College) this past weekend. Our editor-in-chief Richard Myrick was on the judging panel that helped determine the winner of the Vendy Cup.

2013 Chicago Vendy Awards

Overhead view of the Vendys during setup.

The Vendy Awards have been given out to vendors in New York for the last 9 years by The Street Vendor Project, which helps street vendors. The Street Vendor Project helps street vendors connect with small business training as well as loans, to help the culture and ecosystem thrive. In addition, the Vendy Awards also help support Slow Food Chicago as well as Asociación de Vendedores Ambulantes (AVA), a non-profit organization that unites street vendors and their supporters to work towards regulations that allow vendors to sell their products in public spaces.

This year’s participants were:

There were two awards given out at the event.

The People’s Taste Award was determined by the votes of the attendees…

Chicago Vendy Awards Toasty Cheese

Although close, the winner was the Toasty Cheese Mobile Eatery.

The Vendy Cup Award was determined by the judges panel. Richard Myrick explained that coming up with a winner required some deliberation as many of the vendor dishes were delicious but also came with fantastic stories. Once the judges determined their choices, the winner was…

Chicago Vendy Awards Olgas Snacks

OLGA’S SNACKS!!!

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softshell-crab-burger euro trash food cart portlandPORTLAND, OR - It should be no surprise that a Portland food cart menu item is listed on Foder’s recent list of 12 “Must Eat” World Street Food Dishes list. Along side dishes such as Currywurst from Germany and Fried Tarantulas from Cambodia, the soft shell crab burger from the EuroTrash cart made their favorites list. Here is the write up from Lawrence Ferber:

Portland’s “food pod” scene is the mothership of still-spreading food truck culture, with hundreds of amazing port-a-kitchens serving everything from Chinese dumplings to salmon chowder. An “Americanized spin on European street food,” the EuroTrash cart is beloved for its fried Spanish anchovies (aka Fishy Chips), fresh potato chips with chorizo, cilantro, and curry aioli, and their signature Soft Shell Crab Burger, an addictive tempura-battered creation on a toasted bun with a dollop of spicy mayo-yogurt.

Where to Get it:EuroTrash at Downtown’s SW 10th & Washington or the Good Food Here pod on SE 43rd & Belmont.

Find the entire list on Foders.com <here>

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2013 Vendy AwardsCHICAGO, IL - The Vendy Awards are coming to Chicago! On Saturday, October 5th, at Kendall College, they will determine the best street food vendor in Chicago while raising money for Slow Food Chicago & Asociación de Vendedores Ambulantes (AVA)

The Vendys are:

  • A  grill-to-grill cook-off where 12-15 of the best street food vendors in Chicago are invited to compete against each other for street food glory. At the event, we’ll have a team of distinguished judges score the finalists and decide who get the coveted Vendy Cup.
  • The general public can also buy tickets to the event, to enjoy the vendors’ food as well as beer and general festiveness. There will be music and culminating in a short ceremony naming the award winners! Admission to the event includes y food from all the participating finalists and UNLIMITED beer from BROOKLYN BREWERY.
  • A festival of respect and gratitude for all vendors and everything they provide us–from your morning coffee (half-and-half, two sugars) to the $2 umbrella when you get caught in the thunderstorm.
  • A fundraiser for Slow Food Chicago, a non-profit organization that seeks to create dramatic and lasting change in our local food system to ensure equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat.
  • A fundraiser for Asociación de Vendedores Ambulantes (AVA), a non-profit organization that unites street vendors and their allies in the city to fight for regulations that would allow vendors to sell their products in a public space.
  • Each ticket is also a tax-deductible donation.

NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE CHICAGO VENDOR

WE EXPECT TO SELL OUT. BUY YOUR TICKET IN ADVANCE!

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2013 Vendy AwardsNEW YORK, NY – The 9th Annual Vendy Awards, New York City’s premier street food competition, today announced the finalists who will compete for the top prizes: the coveted Vendy Cup and the People’s Taste Award. Chosen from hundreds of vendors nominated by everyday customers, the finalists will face off in an intense grill-to-grill cook-off on Saturday, September 7th being held for the first time at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Only one vendor will come out on top in each category.

The finalists are: The Chipper Truck, The Cinnamon Snail, El Olomega, King Souvlaki, and Luke’s Lobster. These five finalists will compete for the chance to be crowned the city’s best food vendor in the Vendy Cup and the People’s Taste Award categories. While the finalists are the same in each category, a panel of six celebrity judges and one citizen judge will select the winner of the Vendy Cup, while attendees at this year’s event will vote on the People’s Taste Award. Videos and more on the finalists can be found here: http://streetvendor.org/vendys/finalists/

Writer, director, comedian, and actress Negin Farsad will Emcee this year’s Vendys. Farsad recently developed and wrote the MTV series “Detox,” directed and produced the Comedy Central series “The Watch List,” and was named one of the 50 Funniest Women by the Huffington Post.

DJ Justin Carter from Mister Saturday Night will provide the rhythm and tunes to keep the crowd moving. Carter cut his teeth DJing and producing secret parties at Asterisk, a pioneering DIY venue in Bushwick that led the way for many other living-spaces-turned-party-places and carved a new path for underground parties in Brooklyn.

Announcing a New Award: For the first time this year – attending vendors will be able to vie for the “Messy Yet Tasty Award,” sponsored by Tide to Go Stain Eraser®, which will be awarded to the truck with the messiest fare. Tide® will be bringing its “Stainbulance” to the event to help solve stain emergencies on-site with a supply of Tide to Go Stain Erasers®. This will be the “Stainbulance’s” second appearance at the Vendys – it first came to the rescue of several stain sufferers at the Philadelphia Vendy Awards in June.

The judges who will decide the winner of the Vendy Cup include:

  • Elettra Wiedemann: Model and culinary impresario
  • Francis Lam: Judge on Top Chef Masters and Editor-at-Large at Clarkson Potter
  • Garrett Oliver: Brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery, Author of The Brewmaster’s Table, Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Companion to Beer
  • Justin Warner: Host of Food Network’s Rebel Eats, winner of Food Network Star Season 8, co-chef and owner of Bed-Stuy’s Do or Dine
  • Lauren Purcell: Editor-in-Chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray
  • Pat LaFrieda: Chief Executive Officer, Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors
  • Rachael Fauss: Citizen Judge, Policy & Research Manager for Citizens Union

Here’s more on this year’s Vendy Cup and People’s Taste Award finalists, and why they think they should win top honors:

THE CHIPPER TRUCK

Chef/Owner: Valentin & Alice Bermejo

Years in business: 9

Where they’re from: Mexico & Ireland

Schedule: 10pm till 6am

Languages spoken: English

What kind of food do you serve? Irish & American

Specialties: Irish food

Tell us something about your business: We have one of the only Irish food trucks in New York and we are very proud of it!

Why do you deserve to win the Vendy Award? We have worked very hard to build our reputation in this neighborhood. Good food is our first priority and a friendly face. We would be honored to win the Vendys as it would help us validate that all we have given up for this truck has been worth it. We are very proud of our truck and the dedication we have put into it. You only have to ask our customers because they come to us day after day.

THE CINNAMON SNAIL

Chef/Owner: Adam Sobel

Years in business: 3.5

Where they’re from: Manhattan

Schedule: Monday- 48th/6th on Varick st or Dumbo, Tuesday- Wall/Water Sts, Wednesday- 55th/Broadway, Thursday- 21st/5th, followed by Jersey City for dinner, Friday- Park between 46/47th, Saturday- 14th/3rd, Sunday- Red Bank NJ

Languages spoken: Mainly a language I made up called FIDGE

What kind of food do you serve? Extra bold flavorful and downright blissful vegan organic food and basically the BOMB pastries that will make your wig fall off.

Specialties: Korean BBQ seitan, vanilla bourbon creme brûlée donuts, Thai BBQ tempeh with pickled Thai basil and red onions, arugula, smoked chili roasted peanuts and sriracha mayo on grilled spelt bread.

Tell us something about your business: This is the 4th year The Cinnamon Snail has been nominated for a Vendy award. This year we are competing for the Vendy Cup. If we win the cup, our plan is to give it a really really sexy makeover with lots of feathers and fake jewels. We also intend to drink cold fresh squeezed grape juice out of it/ and or use it upside down as a hat which the health department requires us to have.

Why do you deserve to win the Vendy Cup? The Cinnamon Snail has become one of the busiest, most loved street vendors in NYC. It has taken a lot of hard work and endless long days, but we are helping the mainstream folks of NYC to appreciate sustainable non-violent food. I fully intend to serve mashed potatoes and gravy in the Vendy Cup should we win it.

EL OLOMEGA

Chef/Owner: Janet & Marcos Lainez

Years in business: 23

Where they’re from: El Salvador

Schedule: 10:00am to 8:30pm

Languages spoken: Spanish/English

What kind of food do you serve? Salvadoran Cuisine

Specialties: Pupusas: A Pupusa is a hand made tortilla, made of corn flour (maseca) stuffed with pork & cheese, (ground) chicken & cheese, and various other flavors.

Tell us something about your business: We are family owned and operated and have been in business for over 20 years. We specialize in traditional home style cooking and our products are hand made, fresh and worth the wait. We are committed to showing all New Yorkers and the entire tri-state area that having a Pupusa is unique experience!

Why do you deserve to win the Vendys? For the past 23 years we have strived to maintain our food’s authenticity. This consistency has put us at the top of our industry and has made us the best at what we do! Our attention to the heritage of Salvadorian cooking is what we take pride in and is reflected in our Pupusas.

KING SOUVLAKI

Chef/Owner: Kostas Tsampas, George Tsampas, and sons Lampros&Lampros

Years in business: 34

Where they’re from: Greece

Schedule: Sun-Wed 9am-8pm Thurs-Sat 9am-5am(all night)

Languages spoken: Greek/English

What kind of food do you serve? Souvlaki sticks, pitas and heros, platters, handcut fries cooked in Greek EVOO

Specialties: Souvlaki and fries

Tell us something about your business: We are a family owned business serving Astoria since 1979. We serve authentic Greek street food.

Why do you deserve to win the Vendys? We have been in this business for over 34 years. We put in our time and it’s about time for our gold wristwatch, if I may be so bold. But more than that, the people love us and we love them back. The food we make is authentic and true to what we grew up with in Greece and we make it with a lot of love and hard work. All the recipes have been passed down from our fathers and grandfathers who all were either chefs or in the streetfood business back in Greece. The “King” in our name was given to us by the customers. We take pride in the ingredients and the quality of our food and we take pride in the work we put In. Ultimately, our customers nominated us and they feel that we deserve this. We love what we do and so do our customers. We just want to thank them and the Vendys for giving us this opportunity from the bottom of our hearts!

LUKE’S LOBSTER

Chef/Owner: Luke Holden, Ben Conniff

Years in business: 4

Where they’re from: Maine

Schedule: M-F in NYC, S in Hoboken

Languages spoken: English

What kind of food do you serve? Seafood

Specialties: Lobster rolls from Maine

Tell us something about your business: We are proud to bring a taste of Maine to New York.

Why do you deserve to win the Vendys? We work hard not only to serve the best, freshest seafood but also to practice sustainability at all of our locations.

More information on each of the finalists can be found here: http://streetvendor.org/vendys/finalists/

On August 6th, the Vendys announced its honorees for Most Heroic Vendor, congratulating more than 50 food trucks for their remarkable work serving more than 350,000 free hot meals to victims of Hurricane Sandy in the storm’s aftermath, and honoring the New York City Food Truck Association (NYCFTA) for coordinating the outreach efforts.

On July 22nd, the Vendys announced the finalists for Rookie of the Year, Best Market Vendor, Best Dessert, and Best of New Jersey. Bios and background on each of the finalists can be found here: http://streetvendor.org/vendys/finalists/ 

The Vendys, the first and largest street food event series in the country, is an annual event to benefit the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, a membership-based organization that provides advocacy and legal services for more than 1,500 vendor members. The 2012 Vendy Awards drew a crowd of more than 2,000 people to the intense food truck showdown to determine New York’s top street chef. The Vendy Awards, which have been New York City’s most beloved street food competition for nine years, recently announced a major national expansion to include events in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Chicago.

“We are excited to bring the Vendys to Industry City, where a number of the festival’s food and beverage items are manufactured,” said Andrew Kimball, CEO of Industry City. “With its culture of food manufacturing and history of supporting New York-based businesses, Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood is the perfect place to celebrate the culinary achievements of the city’s many street food vendors.”

A limited number of Early Entry VIP tickets are still available. For street food lovers who want to access the Vendy Awards an hour early, VIP tickets ensure the ultimate street eating experience, with shorter lines and access to a whole lot more. Tickets are available at: http://nycvendys2013-eorg.eventbrite.com/ Applications for press passes are now being accepted HERE through August 28th. Decisions will be made by September 3rd.

Street food lovers can also get discounted Vendys tickets through Zipcar. By joining Zipcar for $55 using VENDYS1355, you can go to the Vendys for just $40. Want an Early Entry ticket? Join Zipcar using VENDYS1385 and get Early Entry for just $60. Zipcar provides the convenience of having a car parked right around the corner, without any of the hassles or cost. You can get around by the hour or day, and choose from vans to hybrids. Just join, reserve online, unlock and drive away. Every reservation includes gas, insurance and 180 miles per day.

In addition, the Vendy Awards is pleased to announce that artist Nils Folke Anderson is designing furniture and a bar for this year’s event, made with “up-cycled” materials supplied by Industry City. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Anderson has shown his work widely, including at solo exhibitions at Phillips de Pury, The University of Georgia Athens, and the Dikeou Collection. 

Follow the Vendy Awards on Twitter for the latest news and announcements at @vendyawards, or find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/VendyAwards.

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