Cast Your Vote
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 winner of this competition will be awarded a three month rent free booth in Urbanspace's foodhall located at 570 Lexington. Your votes will be one third of the deciding factor in who will be placed in the 570 Lexington location.
Meet the Finalists
Tristan Chin-Fatt and his high school best pal created the concept for Destination Dumplings about two years ago. Up until now, the concept has gained notoriety at music festivals like Afro-Punk and EZoo as well as weekend pop-up markets like Smorgasburg. Destination Dumplings will have their first seasonal market residency this fall at Mad. Sq. Eats.
Born from a desire to work for themselves after a combined 20 years in the restaurant industry, Chin-Fatt and his partner, Andrew (both from Queens), decided to launch Destination Dumplings. They draw inspiration from both of their multi-ethnic backgrounds, their wives Chinese heritage, as well as all of the neighborhoods of the melting pot that is New York City. The goal of Destination Dumplings is to take their customers on a journey to each one of the 5 boroughs with each new dumpling they try.
One of the signature flavors that they are known for is their Jerk Chicken Dumpling, inspired by Chin-Fatt’s Jamaican and Chinese cultural background. They marinate chicken thighs in their own blend of jerk chicken spices with garlic, ginger, scotch bonnet pepper and other Jamaican spices, then grill it to perfection and chop it up. It gets stuffed into dumplings, steamed and finally topped with a pineapple salsa. This is just one of the many worldly flavors that customers will find at Destination Dumplings.
The mind behind the delicious Bacchanal pepper sauce, Sonya Samuel, is bringing the 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.
Sonya is taking the inspiration for her pepper sauce, and creating a whole concept behind it for the Urbanspace Garment District market. Her concept, aptly titled Bacchanal Sauce, will feature Caribbean food that pairs perfectly with the flavors of her pepper sauce. She will feature such island staples as Fried Fish Cakes, Escovitch Fish Tacos, Sweet Tamales and more. In her own words, the booth promises to be an “Island Party.”
Chef J. Jackson’s star has risen quite quickly over the last several years. With humble beginnings helping in the kitchen with a busy single mother, he has since gone on to train at some of the East Coast’s top restaurants such as the Park Hyatt in Washington DC and Red Rooster in Harlem, he trained at the the French Culinary Institute and has been honored just last year with the Black Enterprise Man of Distinction award.
Jackson gained a good amount of notoriety with his catering business, Entrée Metropolitan, which he started back in 2008 in Washington DC. With his simple notion of wanting to make his love for food contagious, Jackson’s catering business has now grown to include the New York City area, and has catered events for the likes of Lebron James, Nike, Misty Copeland and even the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Jackson has also made regular appearances on Dr. OZ, ABC’s The Chew, and was a crowd favorite on Fiery Foods on Travel Channel.
Jackson’s concept, Soul-Full Sandwiches has been a dream of his for some time. He plans to create quick service, sandwich versions of American southern comfort food, such as fried chicken, mac and cheese and crispy potatoes. In his own words “all the things that just put an instant smile on your face.” Jackson’s concept will be debuting this fall at the Broadway Bites market in Herald Square.
Meet the Jury
Content Director at Tasting Table
Restaurant Critic, New York Magazine
Restauranteur, Chef & Owner La Palapa
Food Blogger & Influencer @stuffbeneats
President, MEMO NY
President & CEO Urbanspace
Founder & CEO Ovenly
Director of Culinary Arts & Technology
Food Blogger & Influencer @tastesofny
Program Director, Hot Bread Kitchen
Restauranteur, Owner of Seamore’s