The final countdown to three of the most coveted food titles in all of Texas begins. The State Fair of Texas and partner Metro by T-Mobile present the 15th Annual Big Tex® Choice Awards.
On Sunday, August 25, three winners will be crowned in the categories of: “Best Taste – Sweet,” “Best Taste – Savory,” and “Most Creative.” The competition began in early July with an impressive 49 entries represented by 30 concessionaires. Of those entries, 33 were selected as semi-finalists. Each entry was evaluated on four Fair-food elements: uniqueness, creativity, presentation, and taste. After some tasty tests and delicious dishes, votes were cast and the results are finally in! Now, the top ten finalists must present themselves to a prestigious panel of celebrity judges in hopes of securing one of the top spots. If your favorite entry did not make the final cut, fret not, concessionaires may still choose to introduce their creation at their stand as a new food during this year’s Fair.
On August 14th, the State Fair of Texas announced the 10 finalists that will be competing for the titles of “Best Taste – Savory,” “Best Taste – Sweet,” and “Most Creative” in the 2019 Big Tex Choice Awards competition.
Calypso Island Shrimp Bowl by Stephen Alade (SAVORY)
Tasty and colorful tropical cabbage stir fry with fresh carrots, kale, scallions, ginger, and sweet red bell peppers, served on a yellow tropical rice topped with herbaceous grilled Caribbean (marinated) shrimp and a sweet and spicy tropical glaze. Not only does it look like the tropics, but it offers tremendous flavor as well. The veggies are cooked just right on a high heat to provide a slight crunch. The shrimp offers a succulent herbaceous note and the sweet and spicy chili glaze kicks it up a notch, providing a tantalizing finish.
Fernie’s Fried Burnt End Burrito by Winter Family Concessions (SAVORY)
The pinnacle of barbecue combined with everyone’s favorite spicy appetizer! Starts with a large flour tortilla slathered with a jalapeno popper spread of cream cheese, savory bacon, Mexican blend cheese, and mildly spicy diced jalapenos. Next we add a layer of pepper jack and finish with a generous helping of smoky nuggets of pure barbecue gold burnt ends! It is folded burrito style and quick fried lightly golden brown with a crispy, flaky crust. Our Texas sized burrito is cut in half and served in a basket with a side of panko crusted crunchy onion rings dusted with a special blend of barbeque seasoning, a sweet tangy, spicy barbecue sauce, and a cherry pepper to top it off! The succulent, charred crispy bits of beefy parts with the creamy, spicy jalapeno popper spread and melty cheeses are the definitive Texas feast!
Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Mexi-Cone by Ruth Hauntz (SAVORY)
Tender, savory, marinated, slow-cooked barbacoa served in an ice cream cone-shaped tortilla shell with black beans and cilantro lime rice. It is topped with pico de gallo, queso fresco, and homemade salsa verde. The perfect handheld treat to enjoy while strolling through the State Fair of Texas.
Southern Fried Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Ball by Greg Parish (SAVORY)
A golden fried ball, filled with fettuccine alfredo, Southern fried chicken bites, and fresh mozzarella cheese. The ball is garnished with our house made alfredo sauce, grated parmesan cheese, Italian parsley, fresh basil, and cracked black pepper. Served with a side of flash fried lemon pepper asparagus spears, and a toasted garlic parmesan baguette. A beautiful fusion where rustic Italian flavors are treated to our Southern hospitality. Gustare!
Texas Cream Corn Casserole Fritters by Clint Probst (SAVORY)
Grandma’s traditional Cream Corn Casserole with a Texas twist! Cream corn, kernel corn, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and cornbread mix are combined into a batter, just like the classic recipe! To make our dish uniquely Texan, we add chopped bacon and freshly diced jalapenos. Instead of baking, we fry (duh!) the Corn Casserole into crispy, lightly browned fluffy pillows of frittery goodness! Four to an order are arranged around our signature Cream Corn Queso Blanco for dipping and sharing!
Big Red® Chicken Bread by Brent & Juan Reaves (SWEET)
This new Fair favorite starts with a homemade, light, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth, Big Red® -flavored frosting, and served with a savory fried chicken wing resting in the middle of the doughnut. So long chicken and waffles, hello Big Red® Chicken Bread!
Deep Fried Bayou Fruit Bites by Terrence & Lisa Henderson (SWEET)
This delectable dessert is produced using fresh fruit wedges that are battered, deep fried, and sensuously coated in a secret sweet confection. It is finished with creamy whipped topping and drizzled with warm caramel sauce. For those with an extreme sweet tooth, we offer these additional toppings: candy, chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, and assorted berries. These Bayou fruit bites are deliriously delicious!
Fla’Mango Tango by The Garza Family (SWEET)
Mango like you’ve never tango’d before! Treat yourself with a refreshingly creamy mango twist, fried and drizzled with a kicky citrus glaze. Topped with whipped topping and served with a side of strawberry mango sorbet. Presto’ Chango, that tangy explosion’s a Mango Tango!
Quick Fried “Black Gold” Truffles by Glen & Sherri Kusak (SWEET)
This little decadent treat is made from thin chocolate cookies crushed into crumbs. We then add deliciously rich cream cheese and mix until creamy. Super sweet mini white chocolate chips are added to make this truffle an unforgettable piece of gold. We hand-roll into balls and coat them in a golden breading consisting of vanilla wafers, corn flakes, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then fry to a delicate crunch on the outside and creamy sweetness on the inside. The Quick Fried “Black Gold” Truffles are topped off with fresh whipped cream and then drizzled with chocolate syrup and a juicy cherry.
Mark your calendar for the 15th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards on Sunday, August 25 at 2:00 p.m. in the historic Tower Building at Fair Park. Get your ticket today to be one of the first people to taste the 2019 winning foods along with the other finalists. Tickets are available online at BigTex.com/tickets for $125, with a limited number of seats available. Don’t miss out on the fun – tickets are almost sold out, so buy yours now before they’re gone!
All proceeds from the Big Tex Choice Awards ceremony will be donated to the Big Tex Scholarship Program. Over its 27-year history, the Big Tex Scholarship Program has awarded scholarships to more than 2,400 students for a total of more than $12.5 million. Eligible recipients include graduating high school seniors around the state of Texas who have participated in competitive youth livestock events held at the State Fair, as well as graduating seniors from six Dallas ISD high schools in the Fair Park-area, State Fair of Texas seasonal employees who have worked three or more Fairs, or their dependents. With event proceeds going to a cause, a portion of each ticket is tax-deductible.
About the State Fair of Texas
Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with proceeds helping to preserve and improve our home, Fair Park; underwrite museums, community initiatives, and scholarship programs to support students throughout the Lone Star State pursuing higher education; and help improve State Fair operations. The 2019 exposition runs September 27 through October 20 in Fair Park. Visit BigTex.com for more information.