Jeffrey is a Vayable Ambassador and urban explorer that loves all things food. He publishes a food blog and writes restaurant critiques in New York Magazine’s Grub Street. He believes that food is the greatest medium to communicate and connect. On Vayable, he offers a Queens Midnight Street Crawl and Queens Tastes of the World.
We sat down with him and asked him a some questions! We also had the pleasure of sharing some meals with him when we were in New York City, and believe us… this guy knows his food.
Neighborhood in NYC: I live on the border of Woodside, Jackson Heights, and Elmhurst in Queens. It’s an amazing cross-section of culture.
Day gig: I work nights doing television news production. That means everything behind the scenes from editing and playing tapes to weather graphics and putting the words on the screen.
What do you like doing in your spare time? I’m usually investigating or exposing something. Mostly having to do with food and culture in Queens.
What are your favorite food events in NYC? Once in a while, Baron Ambrosia will put on an event, he IS an experience. I do many of my own events that satisfy my ultimate food and cultural fantasies, from massive food crawls to bike tours to dinners with my food ambassadors. I prefer not to stand in line with most of the lemmings at big food events, so I guess the answer is that I prefer my own.
How did you find out about Vayable? My friend, Francisco Bello, told me about it. He knows I’ve been involved in showing people what’s good, and thought this would be a good fit. Thanks, Francisco!
Why did you want to become a Vayable Ambassador? This is a great opportunity for people who wouldn’t normally be able to share their experiences. Creating experiences is an art, and for many people on Vayable it’s a raw expression of something they personally feel is awesome and want to share. That’s like folk art. I love folk art.
What kinds of experiences do you think you’ll bring on? I’m hoping to go beyond food and help create some experiences that are waayyy atypical. I’m going to contact my homeless poet friends right now, actually…
How was the first tour you led? The Aussies loved it. They couldn’t believe how good the food was too. We had tacos, tamales, patacon, Ecuadorian sausage. We did a Mexican coke vs American coke taste test, and more. It gave me a lot of confidence actually, and I now see that there are so many street carts that it’s hard to find the best ones, and I can tell them about the neighborhood and history. It definitely over-delivered.