My Week with a Vegan Celebrity

Thiru Kumar Making Dosas

No, I’m not talking about Alicia Silverstone or Joaquin Phoenix. I’m talking about Thiru Kumar, vegan extraordinaire and the culinary genius behind NY Dosas. I’m working on a larger in-depth feature article about Thiru, so I spent a large part of this week helping him out at his vegan cart in Washington Square Park and learning all the work and dedication that goes into being a street vendor. It was a lot of fun going vegetable shopping with Thiru in Queens, helping set up the cart, taking orders and chit chatting with customers and his posse of helpers. Whether it be walking down the streets of Jackson Heights or standing in line in Washington Sq, you get a sense that you are in the company of greatness. Folks come from all over the world to eat his food. They hear about him from Rachel Ray, NPR and Good Morning America. And of course, this year, he was declared the winner of the Vendy’s, the annual sidewalk chef cookoff competition. What a wonderful vegan ambassador.

Thiru specializes in a South Indian rice and lentil crepe called dosa that comes in several varieties and served with a perfectly spiced sambar and cocunut chutney. He also offers iddlies, roticurry, Singapore noodles and a variety of appetizers like samosas, roti rolls, and vegan drumstricks. If you are in New York, be sure to visit soon. If you are waste-conscious like me, you can bring your own tupperware and he’ll fix your lunch in that instead of using disposables. They have cute NY Dosas t-shirts for sale too!

Stolen Samosas

The low point of this week, however, was on Thursday when some guys stole a tray of Thiru’s samosas from his truck. A loyal customer found them in the park, and I snapped a photo. There was a bit of a verbal confrontation. The cops came, but the samosa thieves had vanished.

Thiru is arguably one of the most generous people you will ever meet and is always finding ways to help feed people in need. All they had to do is ask. It is especially sad when someone steals from such a nice guy. In his six years of operation, nothing like this has ever happened. Hopefully it was the first and last incident of its kind. If not, I’m ready to start some sort of vegan non-violent vigilante.


~ by sangamithra on November 3, 2007.

5 Responses to “My Week with a Vegan Celebrity”

  1. This sounds really fun. Pardon my jealousy. But FYI I do get to meet Joaquin this week if all goes right.

  2. ooh. What are you and Joaquin gonna do?

  3. Joaquin as in Pheonix?

  4. By the way Sangamithra, I am jealous too. You ALWAYS get to hang with the cool peeps!

  5. […] My Week with a Vegan Celebrity […]

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