meet the winner

Chef Sonya Samuel

The mind behind the delicious Bacchanal pepper sauce, Sonya Samuel, who brought Caribbean island flavors to the Garment District market this fall with her concept “Bacchanal Sauce.” Born in Brooklyn, Samuel was raised by family from the Caribbean, and has always had a passion for the mix of sweet and spicy flavors that is distinct in the food of her heritage.

To make her sauce, Samuel works with hundreds of Habanero and Scotch Bonnet peppers every day, as well as a mix of island fruits like Pineapple and Guava and traditional Caribbean spices like Cinnamon and Allspice. The result is a lively, fruity and certainly spicy sauce that will sure to delight any spicy food enthusiast.

For the Citi Urbanspace Challenge, Sonya took inspiration from her pepper sauce, creating a whole concept behind it for the Urbanspace Garment District market. Her concept, aptly titled Bacchanal Sauce, featured Caribbean food that pairs perfectly with the flavors of her pepper sauce. While the challenge was measured by public voting and an expert jury of industry experts, only one winner could be chosen, and the booth goes to...Sonya! So Urbanspace enthusiasts, get ready for Fried Fish Cakes, Escovitch Fish Tacos, Sweet Tamales and more. In her own words, the booth promises to be an “Island Party.”

starting early 2019
Come meet Sonya at 570 Lexington


The Idea


Geared towards emerging culinary entrepreneurs, the Citi Urbanspace Challenge  is a creative competition whose aim is to help discover the culinary entrepreneurs of tomorrow and provide them a platform to connect with the New York Market scene. The challengers will be asked to interpret the market experience through imagination and a wide range of food ideas. 

The competition aims to lessen the barrier to entry for up-and-coming chef entrepreneurs while at the same time providing NY market customers with what they crave most: the newest ingredients, the most exotic flavors, the never before tasted combinations.


KEY CRITERIA  Product offering (40%), Mission/Values (10%), Community Impact (10%), Authenticity (10%), and Brand potential (30%).

SUGGESTIONS We encourage applicants from restaurants, cafés, pop-ups and catering concepts that can succeed in a market environment. This may include, but is not limited to the ability to satisfy different day segments, fast service requirements, portability of food products, cohesiveness and breadth of menu, etc. 

AWARDS Three Citi Urbanspace Challenge finalists will receive a rent free booth at either Mad Sq Eats, Garment District, or Broadway Bites during the Fall season. The winner of the Citi Urbanspace Challenge will receive a three month rent free booth at Urbanspace Foodhall located at 570 Lexington, support with menu & brand development, press exposure and online feature at


SCHEDULE The entry period is from July 12, 2018 7:00 AM (EST) to July 23, 2018 12:00 PM (EST). Three finalists will be placed in one of our Fall pop-up markets (Mad Sq. Eats, Broadway Bites and Garment District) and featured at At the end of the pop-up season, Urbanspace will invite the finalists to a tasting event with our panel of judges. The Citi Urbanspace Challenge winner will be selected by our panel of culinary experts , Urbanspace, and consumer voting.


To enter, all potential candidates will be required to fill out this form*

inclusive of (but not limited to) contact information, menu, food photos and a brief description that outlines the culinary idea. Urbanspace reserves the right to edit or delete any submission.



The call For entries is now closed,

Stay Tuned for more news.


meet the jury