Jay-Z's not a businessman, he's a business, man.
This weekend, his annual Made in America festival is hosting a contest offering local businesses a chance to score spots selling food on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway when the event comes to town later this summer.
The culinary competition will take place Sunday at the Fillmore in Fishtown. More than 60 food vendors will compete, according to Jana Fleishman of Roc Nation, Jay-Z's entertainment company. Of those competitors, 35 will be selected to set up shop on the Parkway during the Labor Day weekend festival, joining other prearranged vendors.
The annual festival — which, it was announced earlier this week, will remain on the Parkway following a dispute between city officials and the rapper over the location — always includes local food trucks and vendors. This year, Jay-Z wanted locals to have a say in who some of those vendors are, Fleishman said.
Attendees and a panel of guest judges can sample offerings in various categories — such as finger foods, Italian, Latin/Mexican, sandwiches, vegan, and dessert — and vote for their favorites in each category based on execution, creativity, appearance and taste. Competing vendors include local businesses like the Cow and the Curd, Mama's Meatballs, Humpty's Dumplings and more.