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2012 NYC Vendy Award Finalist: Uncle Gussy’s Traditional Greek Cuisine

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Aug 29, 2012
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“What makes it all worth it to me? I know what makes it all worth it: we built something, from nothing.”

Meet Nick Karagiorgos, co-owner of Uncle Gussy’s Traditional Greek Cuisine food truck on 51st and Park Avenue in Manhattan. A 2012 Vendy Award Finalist. If you want to talk to someone who’s been around the street food business a long, long time, Uncle Gussy’s is a good place to start. They began as a tiny food cart in 1971, selling typical, ordinary, run-of-the-mill street pretzels and hot dogs, until they started slowly introducing their mom’s homemade recipes, just to see what would happen. The demand for their homemade Greek “specials” became so popular, they expanded the cart throughout the years to accomodate for their growing line of customers. According to Nick, the trick to staying in the business is giving “his people” what they want…and what they want is, apparently, LOTS of tzatziki sauce and his mom’s home cooking. Enjoy their fun story!

Be sure to get your tickets to the big NYC Vendy Awards event on September 15th on Governor’s Island.

Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating!

2012 NYC Vendy Award Finalist: Hamza & Madina Halal Food

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Aug 28, 2012
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Meet the Salem Mashriqi, co-owner of Hazma & Madina Halal Food on the corner of Hillside Avenue and Little Neck Parkway in Glen Oaks, NY. A 2012 NYC Vendy Award Finalist.

This halal food vendor is a little out of the way compared to others, but DEFINITELY worth the trip out. What sets them apart from all the other halal food carts are the Afghani flavors incorporated into their special lamb gyro and chicken gyro recipes and sauces. Personally, I’ve never had a white sauce with so much depth of flavor! Layers of interesting spices and ingredients pop out at you, but I just can’t quite put my finger on them, but that’s the beauty of it. Here, everything is homemade – right down to the spice blends – and everything’s a secret. A true story about coming from nothing and building their own American dream. Enjoy!

Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating!

 

2012 NYC Vendy Award Finalist: Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food Truck

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Aug 28, 2012
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Meet the Perez family of Piaztlan Authentic Mexican, one of the original food vendors at The Red Hook Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn. A 2012 NYC Vendy Award Finalist. Piaztlan is all about family, and without the guidance of Eleazar Perez, the mom and head chef, their truck would not have the reputation, the commitment to flavor or the loyalty their truck has today. This food truck story is definitely all about setting an example for your kids and being an inspiration to your family. Enjoy!

Be sure to get your tickets to the big NYC Vendy Awards event on September 15th on Governor’s Island.

Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating!

 

2012 NYC Vendy Award Finalist: The Cinnamon Snail

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Aug 27, 2012
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Over the past two weeks, I’ve been in and out of all sorts of food trucks throughout New York City, filming profile videos for the 2012 NYC Vendy Awards. This week, I’ll be releasing them. It’s been a pleasure spending time with very passionate, very dedicated food makers who’ve chosen to make a living in a very difficult and demanding business. Like one vendor explained: “Having a truck is like every issue a restaurant has to deal with AND every issue a drug dealer has to deal with…” 

Though their food comes out quick and effortlessly, it’s not easy doing what they do. They’ll admit it too: the long hours, the prep work, the inevitable collection of parking tickets. However, each finalist also convinced me why it’s all been worth it to them, and that’s what I hope to show you in my video stories this week: the love and the passion put into each and every bite of food.

Today, Meet Adam Sobel of The Cinnamon Snail Vegan Organic food truck. A 2012 NYC Vendy Award Finalist. 

Congrats to all the finalists! Be sure to get your tickets to the big event on September 15th.

Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy eating!

Letting Salt Just Be Salt: Amagansett Sea Salt Co.

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Aug 20, 2012
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“I was very surprised when we first went into this that no one was making salt in New York, and very few on the East Coast; but, as we’ve become more involved in the business, I think there are very few people who are crazy enough to start a project like this.”

Meet Steven and Natalie Judelson, sea-salt fanatics and husband & wife team behind Amagansett Sea Salt Co. in Long Island, NY.  They are New York State’s only sea salt makers and one of only four artisan salt makers on the entire Eastern Seaboard.

The Judelsons’ love of salts came naturally: they’ve always preferred savory over sweet, a preference that got them addicted to tasting and collecting all-natural sea salts over 20 years ago. What they learned is that real salts, salts not heavily processed in factories, don’t all taste the same. They have their own unique “terroir” – nuanced flavors that give a product a special sense of place. So, given their fascination and proximity to the ocean, they started making their own sea salt, for fun, out of their beach home in Amagansett. Over the past ten years, Steven has slowly perfected his homemade sea salt harvesting and “farming operation”, to the point where in 2009, they took “a leap of faith” and decided to share their passion with others.

Right now, Amagansett Sea Salt Co. offers 10 different sea salt blends. You can find them in various farmers markets out in the Hamptons, or at specialty stores, like Shelsky’s Smoked Fish, here in New York City. I recommend trying the East Hampton Blend with Herbes de Provence. It goes great with eggs, grilled seafood and meats. I also really like their Montauk Blend with lemon zest, which is a nice compliment to vegetables and fruits, and also goes great as a salt rim for margaritas.

Enjoy Steven and Natalie’s story! I think you’ll be surprised how much work and beauty goes into salting up your food.

Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy eating!