Wednesday, August 17, 2016

State Fair of Texas Announces Finalists for the 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards

Touch your mouse to the screen below to scroll through the gallery: 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists
photos c/o State Fair of Texas

Even casual readers to this blog know that I am #obsessed with the State Fair of Texas. It's an iconic part of our city's heritage and from a family outing on the Midway with the kids to date night filled with fried food selections and a romantic Farris Wheel ride, the State Fair provides endless opportunities for fun. The Fair is legendary for it's fried foods and each year, the best new selections are honored with a Annual Big Tex® Choice Award. A press release sent out by the Fair today said, "With an impressive 55 entries to choose from this year, only the eight most decadent dishes have earned the right to go up against the prestigious panel of celebrity judges in hopes of achieving fair food supremacy. Even if your favorite entry didn’t make the final cut, concessionaires can still choose to introduce their creation at their stand as a “new food” during this year’s Fair."  The State Fair of Texas is proud to announce the eight finalists who will be competing for the titles of Best Taste and Most Creative in the 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards:

Caribbean Pineapple Korn-a-Copia by Stephen Alade
Bringing a taste of Caribbean flare to the Fair, this dish stands out among the rest with its profile of fresh flavors. Marinated grilled chicken and shrimp are served over a bed of yellow Caribbean fried rice and topped with a tropical salsa and pineapple rum glaze. Served in a pineapple half shell, this Korn-a-Copia will have you ready for a day at the beach… or a day the Fair!

Deep Fried Bacon Burger Dog Slider on a Stick by Brent & Juan Reaves 
Meat lovers are in for a treat with this tantalizing triple threat. A miniature, handmade seasoned ground beef patty is stuffed with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, and an all-beef hot dog on a Hawaiian roll. It is then placed on a skewer topped with a pickle, dipped in a tempura batter and deep fried to perfection. Every Bacon Burger Dog is served on a bed of shoe string fries with ranch dipping sauce.

Deep Fried Pulled Pork "FUNYUN®" Dings by Chris Howard 
Putting a tasty spin on a pantry staple, the unique combination of flavors in this deep fried dish create the perfect balance of sweet and savory. A "FUNYUN," the traditional crunchy snack, is stuffed with pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, pineapple slices and bacon. It is then dipped in a flavorful batter and deep fried. Each order is served with a multilayered sweet BBQ sauce.

Fernie’s Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pocket with Mac 'n Cheese Dip by Christi Erpillo 
Two classic American comfort foods, one mouth-watering meal! This ultimate taste extravaganza starts with a savory cream sauce chock-full of shredded roasted chicken breast, tender diced white potatoes, sweet carrots, peas, corn and a special blend of herbs and spices. This hearty filling is ladled into fresh, flaky pastry dough and then gently folded "hot pocket" style. Each bite of the deep fried, golden brown, buttery crust is bursting with a savory sauce of chicken and veggies. Pure down-home goodness! Served with a side of mac ‘n cheese-inspired dip, this unique sharp cheddar sauce creates a tantalizing flavor combination.

Fried Jell-O® by Ruth Hauntz 
For the first time in Big Tex Choice Awards history, America's favorite childhood dessert is given a State Fair of Texas twist! A classic cherry-flavored Jell-O in a panko-crusted breading, flash-fried to perfection, and then dusted with powdered sugar. Prepared with a tasty topping of whipped cream and a cherry garnish, this dish has the perfect amount of crunch to compliment the jiggle.

Injectable Great Balls of BBQ by Glen Kusak 
Smoke-crusted BBQ beef brisket is hand shredded with bock BBQ sauce and molded to form balls. The ball of beef is then breaded with seasoned bread crumbs and deep fried to a crispy perfection. Served on top of a bed of coleslaw, each order comes with its own pipette of bock BBQ sauce to be injected into the brisket balls. Guaranteed to be a perfectly succulent bite every time.

Southern Fried Chicken & Dumplins by Clint Probst 
Putting a modern twist on a traditional Deep South favorite, this southern fried dish is a two-in-one hit! Juicy shredded chicken is mixed with bits of signature seasonings, dough and a touch of gravy. This decadent mixture is then rolled into balls, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried golden brown! Served with fried “biscuit bites” and a side of gravy, this dish is truly comfort food heaven! 

State Fair Cookie Fries by Isaac Rousso 
A unique play on America's favorite savory side dish. The cookie fry may look like it needs ketchup, but don’t be fooled by the classic crinkle-cut appearance. Offered in traditional cookie flavors like chocolate chip or sprinkles, these sweet treats are served with your choice of the accompanying strawberry or milk chocolate sauce. Just consider it an undercover cookie in fry-form disguise.

Mark your calendar for the 12th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards on Sunday, August 28 at 2:00 p.m. in the historic Tower Building at Fair Park. Get your ticket today and be one of the first people to get a taste of the 2016 food finalists. Tickets are available online for $100, with a limited amount of seats available. Don’t miss out on the fun - buy your ticket now before they’re gone! All proceeds from the Big Tex Choice Awards ceremony will be donated to the State Fair of Texas Youth Scholarship Program.