Some cynical souls may still believe food from a street cart is somehow less than gourmet, but those people have no business living in New York City. New York is home to food carts run by world class chefs, for whom winning a Vendy Award is an honor to rival a Michelin star.
It’s only fitting that New York would be the homebase for VendrTV, a weekly web series that treats street vendors with the respect they deserve.
Each episode examines a locally reknown street cart and features interviews with the proprietors, recommendations from regular customers, and more beautifully shot food porn than you can handle on an empty stomach.
The show is both hosted and produced by Dan Delaney, an enthusiastic but never snobbish food fan who is both comfortable on screen and with his interview subjects. The mouthwatering camerawork is courtesy of cinematographer Andy Buckmaster, who elevates the visual side of show above and beyond the standards of most indie web series and gives it a distinctive look, full of highly saturated colors.
The impressive production quality has not gone unnoticed; though the show only launched this February, it’s already been picked up by Next New Networks, and Delaney has told Tilzy.TV that negotiations are underway for a VendrTV cookbook.
While the first several episodes are rooted in the street cuisine of the Tri-State area, some of the latest installments sample what the West Coast has to offer. A Seattle-based episode takes an interesting look at the “cart” side of food carts as Dan checks out Maximus-Minmus, a pulled-pork sandwich vendor housed in a giant iron truck shaped like a steampunk pig (you must see it to believe it).
Other recent episodes have featured guest stars from the worlds of food and webshows (though not necessarily food webshows), which gives the established format a bit more variety. When visiting the Papa Perrone food truck in NYC, Dan is joined by College Humor duo Jake and Amir who help out by eating cheese filled rice balls and doing their awkward sketch comedy thing that the kids seem to love. Upcoming episodes will include such luminaries as Tekzilla’s Veronica Belmont and wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk (are there wine carts?).
VendrTV has a particularly impressive web site that’s packed with interactivity you can actually use. You can order free swag, follow production updates on Twitter and their blog, and even check out their upcoming shooting schedule in case you want to show up to give a testimonial on-camera.
VendrTV is a impressive example of how the digital age allows a small group of talented individuals to produce and distribute a show that matches expensive old media programming in quality, content and style. The show isn’t terribly unlike something you’d find on cable with Guy Fieri.
So what’s the show serving up next? The VendrTV crew has dined on the sidewalks of both US coasts, the middle states are the next logical step. ROAD TRIP! After that, it’s just a matter of time before we get an international edition. Who can resist the call of Mediterranean street food straight from the source?
Check out all the good streat eats at Vendr.TV.