State Fair of Texas Announces Finalists for the 2017 Big Tex Choice Awards

DALLAS, TEXAS – August 16, 2017 – The final countdown to who will win one of the most coveted titles in all of Texas begins. The State Fair of Texas is proud to once again partner with VisitDallas to present the 13th Annual Big Tex® Choice Awards food competition.

For the first time, three winners will be receiving awards for: “Best Taste – Sweet,” “Best Taste – Savory,” and “Most Creative.” The competition began in mid-July with an astounding 47 entries. Of those entries, 30 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 becoming the next Fair food legend. If your favorite entry did not make the final cut, fret not, 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 happy to announce the ten finalists that will be competing for the titles of “Best Taste – Sweet,” “Best Taste – Savory,” and “Most Creative” in the 2017 Big Tex® Choice Awards competition.


Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick by Sherry & Chris Howard
(SAVORY)

Homestyle, perfectly spiced chicken noodle soup is deep fried and served on a stick. Each bite size ball will have an indention for a spoonful of savory broth sauce to complete the harmony of the best chicken noodle soup you’ve ever had, and certainly the first on a stick! Each dish is served with a side of crackers.


Deep Fried Froot Loops
® by Gracie & Milton Whitley (SWEET)

A classic cereal with a State Fair twist! Sweetened Froot Loops® are folded into whipped marshmallow, dipped in a creamy batter, fried to a golden brown, and then topped with a drizzle of glaze and powdered sugar. Breakfast cereal just got better!


Fat Smooth by Tami Nevins-Mayes
(SWEET)

Three delicious Belgium mini cream puffs on a skewer are dipped in a Café Du Monde® beignet batter. They are then fried until golden brown, dusted in powdered sugar, and drizzled with a chocolate and caramel sauce. The perfect combination to create bring-you-to-your-knees goodness.

Fernie’s Fried Texas Sheet Cake by Winter Family Concessions (SWEET)

Start with a Texas-sized slice of fudgy chocolate brownie cake generously coated in ground cocoa puffs, panko, and cinnamon sugar. The coated brownie is fried, giving it an ooey-gooey molten center with a crunch outside. The delicious fresh-from-the-fryer brownie is then glazed with a rich, dark icing made with Dr. Pepper®. The chocolatey glaze soaks into the warm brownie while cascading down the sides. The cake is served with chopped Texas pecans, a dollop of whipped cream, and garnished with a fresh strawberry carved to mimic a Lady Bird Johnson rose.

Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger by Tom Grace & Edna Sutton (SAVORY)

Begin with two funnel cakes that are fried to a golden crunch (aka “buns”). The first funnel bun is topped with a juicy, freshly-grilled burger patty, a heaping helping of crispy bacon, and gooey queso!! It is completed with another funnel bun and generously dusted with powdered sugar.

Gulf Coast Fish Bowl by Clint Probst (SWEET)

A whimsical beverage featuring all the flavors of your favorite tropical coast, with a kick! Your drinkable aquarium begins with Nerds® candy gravel. Next, the drink is iced and filled with a specially-formulated blue alcoholic punch. Swedish Fish® swim through the ice while a pineapple slice serves as the lid! Each sip brings a stream of crunchy candy and tropical punch up the straw causing a flavor explosion that transports you beachside with every sip!

Pinot Noir Popcorn by The Parish Family (SWEET)

It’s a blend of Santa Monica Kettle Corn generously dusted with a Pinot Noir burgundy wine powder. The wine-flavored popcorn is paired with savory cheddar cheese flavors to give you the perfect balance of sweet and savory. A perfect pair for a poppin’ snack!

Surfin’ Turfin’ Tator Boat by Melissa & David Harrison (SAVORY)

Succulent lobster meat is marinated in lemon herb butter and partnered with seasoned steak that is grilled to perfection. Both are topped with cheddar and romano cheeses after being stuffed into a piping-hot baked potato with roasted garlic butter melted inside. It is topped off with a single empress cut lobster claw and a side of lemon butter for dipping.

Texas Fajita Fries by Nick Bert (SAVORY)

Tenderly breaded deep-fried beef fajita strips are seasoned with a sriracha spice mix and served in a bread cone. Presented on a bed of Texas toothpicks (fried onions and jalapeños) with a side of pico de gallo and a cool, yet spicy, sour cream guacamole hot sauce. Texas fajita fries can be enjoyed as a sandwich or individually like French fries.

The Tamale Donut by Justin Martinez (SAVORY)

Take a traditional tamale and turn it into a not-so-traditional donut! Our “Classic Pork” Tamale Donut starts with slow-cooked pork carnitas, blended with authentic “made-from-scratch” masa. Each dish is hand-formed into the donut shape and fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The “Classic Pork” Tamale Donut is finished off with a drizzle of homemade creamy jalapeno salsa.

Mark your calendar for the 13th Annual Big Tex® Choice Awards on Sunday, August 27 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 taste the 2017 food finalists. Tickets are available online at BigTex.com 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. Over its 25-year history, the State Fair of Texas Youth Scholarship Program has awarded scholarships to more than 2,000 students for a total of more than $10 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 five Dallas ISD high schools in the Fair Park-area high schools: Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, James Madison, Lincoln, North Dallas and Woodrow Wilson High Schools. Due to the events charitable 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 all proceeds helping to preserve and improve Fair Park; underwrite museum, community, and scholarship programs for inner-city youth and students pursuing agricultural careers; and help improve State Fair operations. The 2017 exposition runs September 29 through October 22 in Fair Park. Visit BigTex.com for more information.

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