Food carts are an iconic image of New York City that most New Yorkers pass every day. Even if they stop to enjoy their food, not many take in the beauty and visual appeal of food carts – that’s why photographer Maxwell Schiano published a 64-page zine of his photography celebrating these icons, New York City Vibe, Volume One. In this conversation, we will learn about his process and check out his stunning photos that reveal so many wonderful details about these carts and the people working inside them. We will also be joined by Carina Kauffman-Gutierrez, deputy director of the Street Vendor Project, who will update us on the current challenges vendors face in New York City.
Take a virtual walk through Manhattan’s Financial District and learn about some of the food carts and food trucks that serve this neighborhood. We will check out some of our favorite spots, and talk to vendors about their food, how their businesses have fared during the pandemic, and how they are managing as the city reopens. We wish we could pass out tastings with everyone, but we will share the spots that we visit to check out on your own.
We are teaming up with our friend and renowned pizza expert Scott Wiener from Scott’s Pizza Tours to explore the world of mobile pizza and discuss the history and culture of pizza on the street with some special guests. We will be joined by Ernie Wong of Shanghai Mobile Kitchen Solutions, one of the city’s leading fabricators of food carts and trucks, who will teach us about what goes into building and operating a pizza oven on wheels in New York City.
Street vending has been a part of New York City’s public life for hundreds of years, often taken up by newcomers to the country and New Yorkers excluded from the formal economy, as a means of starting a small business. For this special virtual program, Cindy VandenBosch and Andrew Gustafson will explore street vending history from the 19th century to today and examine how the city’s physical, culinary, artistic, and legal landscape has been shaped by vendors. We’ll also be joined for a special visit from street vendor MD Alam, calling in from his food cart Royal Grill Halal Food to share with us how his business has survived during COVID-19.
This program is fundraiser for the non-profit Street Vendor Project, a project of the Urban Justice Center, and is not part of our ongoing Virtual Program series or included in our Membership program
Many fairs, festivals, and food bazaars, rooted in culinary traditions from all over the world, have been postponed or cancelled this spring. New York-based photojournalist Dave Cook will lead a virtual tour through all corners of the city to look at the past, and the future, of these beloved events. Since 2005 his website Eating In Translation has explored lesser-known food in the five boroughs of the city and, occasionally, farther afield. Dave’s work has also appeared in The Art of Eating; Culinary Backstreets, The New York Times, Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City, and many other publications.
For nearly 20 years, Adel El Nagar has been serving food of his native Egypt on the streets of New York. Known for his made-to-order falafel, his cart Adel’s #1 Halal was recognized as one of the best in the city when it won the 2017 People’s Choice Vendy Award. Join this conversation with one of the city’s most beloved halal street vendors as he discusses his journey, his food, and his successful street vending business.
Ariel Barbouth was born and raised in Argentina and came to New York City with his wife Leni in 2009 with a dream: to bring traditional Argentine empanadas and make them mainstream in the US. Since then, their company Nuchas has opened kiosks, launched Vendy Award-winning food trucks and carts, opened an empanada factory, and soon they will be shipping direct to consumers nationwide. Ariel will discuss his exciting journey in the food industry, from formulating recipes to scaling manufacturing, being a street vendor to pitching on Shark Tank.
Get a snapshot of the life of a food photographer. Brooklynite Clay Williams will join us to discuss his experience working on cookbooks, at the James Beard Foundation, on projects for the New York Times, and being the official food photographer of the Vendy Awards. In addition to sharing his stories and mouth-watering photos, he’ll give us some tips on how to get great food photos from our phones for Instagram or just your own personal memories.
In this virtual program, Turnstile Tours founder Cindy VandenBosch examines how children’s books, novels, paintings, and postcards have depicted New York City’s street vendors, and the foods and merchandise they sell over time. From hot corn and baked pears to knishes and sweet potatoes, she will dive into vendor stories depicted in works including the 1808 book “Cries of New York,” documentation from the Works Progress Administration, and images by William Chappel (pictured), Lou Barlow, and Raymond Ewer, among others.