Big Tex Choice Awards

More than a decade of decadence

Since 2005, the Big Tex Choice Awards contest has solidified the State Fair of Texas as the top Fair for great food creations. Each year, State Fair concessionaires fry up tasty and unique foods for a chance to become a finalist in the annual Big Tex Choice Awards competition. Everything from Fried Beer to Fried Peaches and Cream has made the cut to become a part of the exclusive club of fried food creations.


The 15th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards will be held Sunday, August 25 in the historic Tower Building in Fair Park.

Tickets to the Big Tex Choice Awards ceremony are $125 each. Included with your ticket is one admission ticket to the State Fair, exclusive Fair gear, and a commemorative State Fair refillable cup. All proceeds from the event go to the State Fair Scholarship Fund.

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2018 Big Tex Choice Award Winners

Winner "Best Taste - Savory"

Fernie’s Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce

by Winter Family Concessions

Winner "Best Taste - Sweet"

Arroz con Leche (Sweet Crispy Rice)

by Garza Family

Winner "Most Creative"

Cotton Candy Taco

by Justin and Rudy Martinez

2018 Savory Finalists

Deep Fried Shepherd’s Pie

by Clint Probst

Shredded cheddar cheese and cream is mixed into savory mashed potato pillows.  Each potato ball is filled with Grandma’s shepherd’s pie filling made of ground beef, mixed vegetables, and rich beef gravy. Our special seasoning creates an explosion of flavors and textures as the filling and creamy potatoes mix with each bite.

Texas Fried Hill Country

by Rudy and Justin Martinez

Fried mozzarella is complimented with locally-grown basil, sandwiched between two slices of juicy green tomatoes, and hand-breaded with seasoned breadcrumbs and flash fried to gooey perfection. Each dish is served on a bed of field greens, finished with balsamic drizzle and sweet local Texas honey.

Texas Twang-kie

by Chris & Sherry Howard

Cornbread cake is baked to moist perfection, hollowed out, and filled with a culinary masterpiece of Tex-Mex grilled chicken white bean chili! Each twang-kie is served with cornbread fries and more chili for dipping. A savory twist on an American classic!

Deep Fried Skillet Potato Melt in a Boat

by Tom Grace

Buttery skillet potatoes are griddled golden brown, combined with diced breakfast sausage patties and packed around a mini Babybel® cheese loaf. Seasoned in flour and dipped in the fryer, the skillet potato melts are then served up in the potato skins they came from and topped with melted cheddar and crispy bacon bites. A sour cream chipotle sauce is drizzled across the top and served on the side for dipping!

Fernie’s Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce

by Winter Family Concessions

Creamy black-eyed peas, fluffy white rice, spicy smoked sausage, aromatic green onions, and a secret blend of spices are combined with breadcrumbs and eggbeaters to form a generous Texas-sized cake. This savory cake is breaded, deep fried, and topped with a zingy black-eyed pea relish, garnished with pickled okra, and served with a side of Jackpot Sauce.

2018 Sweet Finalists

Cotton Candy Taco

by Justin and Rudy Martinez

A graham cracker waffle cone is freshly-pressed into a crunchy taco shell shape and coated with a marshmallow glaze, then stuffed with chocolate, toasted marshmallow, and organic cane sugar cotton candy. It’s then topped off with chocolate cookie crumbles and two chocolate cream-covered biscuit sticks with marshmallows.

Fernie’s Orange You Glad We Fried It?!

by Winter Family Concessions

Layers of chiffon orange cake, whipped cream, and citrusy orange preserves are lightly blended to form a custard filling. The mixture is spooned into flaky puff pastry dough, folded turnover style, and sealed before being fried into little crescent-shaped pillows, dusted with powdered sugar. Served with two dipping sauces and garnished with a double citrus twist slice.

Arroz con Leche (Sweet Crispy Rice)

by Garza Family

A cinnamon-spiced rice ball is formed, battered, and coated in crispy puffed rice cereal. The ball is then deep fried to golden perfection. Each rice ball is sprinkled with powdered vanilla and complimented with a Texas-sized scoop of vanilla ice cream. To serve, a  drizzle of caramel sauce and powdered cinnamon crowns each tasty treat.

State Fair Fun-L Cake Ice Cream

by Tom Landis

Capturing the essence and flavor of the State Fair, this creamy smooth, premium ice cream has funnel cake flavor infused into it with funnel cake pieces and powdered sugar mixed throughout the dish. It is available with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and strawberry sauce.

Sweet Bakin’ Bacon

by Ed & Eddie Campbell

A cream-filled sponge cake is wrapped in savory bacon and then dipped in a funnel cake batter. This treat is then deep fried until golden brown and dusted with powdered sugar to finish.

2018 Big Tex Choice Awards Semi-Finalists

Savory Sweet
Corn Dog Ale Bacon Brittle
Deep Fried Bodacious Bacon Bombs Cherish Erbert Champagne
Deep Fried Chicken Tetrazzini Parmesana Cotton Candy Taco
Deep Fried Lobster Pops Deep Fried M&M’s®
Deep Fried Ranch Deep Fried Raspberry Brie-ret
Deep Fried Shepherd’s Pie Frosty’s Frozen Hot Chocolate
Deep Fried Skillet Potato Melt in a Boat Fruity Dessert Nachos
Fried Cup of Corn “Elotes” Kool-Aid® Pickle-Dilly Sangria
Fried Kool-Aid® Pickles Orange Julia’s Beermosa
Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce Orange You Glad We Fried It?!
King Crispy Coconut Crab Sliders State Fair Fun-L Cake Ice Cream
Pico Frito (Deep Fried Pico de Gallo) Supra Stuffed Mini Sopapillas
Southern Fried Chicken Nachos Sweet Bakin’ Bacon
Texas Fried Hill Country Sweet Crispy Rice (Arroz con Leche)
Texas Twang-kie Texas Thai Delight
The Roll Tide

2017 Big Tex Choice Awards Winners

Best Taste - Savory :: Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger

Best Taste - Sweet :: Gulf Coast Fish Bowl

Most Creative :: Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger

Previous Big Tex Choice Award Winners

Year Category Winner
2017 Best Taste :: Savory Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
Best Taste :: Sweet Gulf Coast Fish Bowl
Most Creative Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
2016 Best Taste Fried Jell-O®
Most Creative State Fair Cookie Fries
2015 Best Taste Fernie’s Holy Moly Carrot Cake Roly
Most Creative Smoky Bacon Margarita
2014 Best Taste Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil
Most Creative State Fair Brew – Funnel Cake Ale
2013 Best Taste Deep-Fried Cuban Roll
Most Creative Fried Thanksgiving Dinner
2012 Best Taste Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
Most Creative Deep Fried Jambalaya
2011 Best Taste Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack
Most Creative Fried Bubblegum
2010 Best Taste Texas Fried FRITOS® Pie
Most Creative Fried Beer™
2009 Best Taste Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream
Most Creative Deep Fried Butter
2008 Best Taste Chicken Fried Bacon
Most Creative Fried Banana Split
2007 Best Taste Texas Fried Cookie Dough
Most Creative Deep Fried Latte
2006 Best Taste Fried Praline Perfection
Most Creative Fried Coke
2005 Best Taste Fried PB, Jelly and Banana Sandwich
Most Creative Viva Las Vegas Fried Ice Cream