NEW YORK – The Vendy Awards is proud to announce that Gayle King will be a judge at this year’s Vendy Awards. King is the as Editor-at-Large of O, The Oprah Magazine, and hosts “The Gayle King Show.” “The Gayle King Show” airs weekdays at 10am ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and Sirius/XM. King joins an all-star lineup of judges that includes comedian Colin Quinn, CNN’s Kat Kinsman, and New York Times columnist John T. Edge. Street food enthusiast Zenia Muna will be the citizen judge.

The 2011 Vendy Awards will take place on Saturday September 24th at Governors Island, and will feature a new award for ‘Most Heroic Vendor’- to honor vendors who have made heroic acts in the past year. The 2010 Vendy Awards drew a crowd of over 1,500 people to the intense grill-to-grill cook-off to determine New York’s top street chef. In addition to the new award, New York’s best street chefs will once again compete for the coveted Vendy Cup, along with Rookie of the Year, Best Dessert, and the popular People’s Taste Award.

The Vendy Awards serves as the annual benefit event for the non-profit Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center. A membership-based organization of more than 850 vendors, the Street Vendor Project serves as a voice for the more than 10,000 vendors who contribute to New York City’s rich and vibrant street life. The organization is currently working to increase the number of vending permits available in New York City, so more men and women can earn a livelihood selling their wares on the street.

Announced Judges

Colin Quinn: Quinn is a Brooklyn-born stand-up comedian and writer best known for his five years as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and as host of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn on Comedy Central. Quinn’s one-man show, Colin Quinn Long Story Short, premiered on Broadway in 2010 and has since been performed in East Hampton, Philadelphia and Chicago.

Kat Kinsman: Kat is the Managing Editor of CNN’s food blog (@Eatocracy), the year-old site devoted to all things edible. Kat is the former Senior Editor for AOL Food and Slashfood, a KCBS Certified Barbecue Judge and the vice chair of the James Beard Journalism Committee. You can catch her talking about food periodically onCNN Newsroom and rather constantly on Twitter as @kittenwithawhip.

John T. Edge: John writes a monthly series, “United Tastes,” for the New York Times. He writes a restaurant column for Garden & Gun and is a longtime columnist for the Oxford American. His work has been featured in eight editions of the Best Food Writing compilation. And he has served frequently as judge on Iron Chef America Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, is the editor of seven books and the author of six books, including Fried Chicken: An American Story. In 2009, he was elected to the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. This fall, Workman will publish his latest work, Truck Food, a survey of stories and recipes from America’s signal street food cooks.

Zenia Muna : A street food enthusiast, Zeina will be attending her fifth Vendy Awards in 2011 – this time as the citizen judge.  She developed a love for new flavors and no-frills eating while growing up in Greece and the Middle East.  On her travels around the world, Zeina always seeks out local street food for cheap, tasty dining and colorful subject matter for her photo blog.  Zeina works in media at Conde Nast and lives in the East Village where she and her friends spend their weekends experimenting in the kitchen and sampling famous and not-so-famous vendors across the city.

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