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Take a Mouth-Watering Look at the Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists

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The top ten finalists for the Big Tex Choice Awards have been announced! The State Fair of Texas, famed for its fried foods, inspires concessionaires to give it their best shot. They work year round to create the best (or weirdest) recipe. That’s what it takes to win a coveted Big Tex Choice Award.

August 25, State Fair judges will name three winners: “Best Taste – Sweet,” “Best Taste – Savory,” and “Most Creative.” Early in July, 49 entries (representing 30 concessionaires) were announced. Then 33 were named semi-finalists. Entries were evaluated using Fair-food elements. Uniqueness, creativity, presentation, and taste were the criteria used by judges.

Savory Category: Five Finalists

Take a Mouth-Watering Look at the Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists

Photo: State Fair of Texas

Calypso Island Shrimp Bowl by Stephen Alade-Tasty. 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. Looks like the tropics plus has great flavor.

Fernie’s Fried Burnt End Burrito by Winter Family Concessions. Large flour tortilla filled with jalapeno popper spread (cream cheese, bacon, Mexican blend cheese, mildly spicy diced jalapenos—plus pepper jack and BBQ burnt ends. Folded burrito style, quick fried with side of panko crusted onion rings, BBQ sauce & cherry popper.

Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Mexi-Cone by Ruth Hauntz. Slow-cooked barbacoa served in ice cream cone-shaped tortilla shell with black beans and cilantro lime rice. Topped with pico de gallo, queso fresco, and homemade salsa verde.

Take a Mouth-Watering Look at the Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists

Photo: State Fair of Texas

Southern Fried Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Ball by Greg Parish. Golden-fried ball, filled with fettuccine alfredo, Southern fried chicken bites, and fresh mozzarella cheese. Garnished with Alfredo sauce, parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, cracked black pepper. Served with asparagus spears and toasted garlic parmesan baguette.

Texas Cream Corn Casserole Fritters by Clint Probst. Cream Corn Casserole with Texas twist! Cream corn, kernel corn, sour cream, cheddar cheese, cornbread mix combined into a batter, plus chopped bacon and freshly diced jalapenos. Fried, of course! Four to an order with Queso Blanco for dipping.

Sweet Category: Five Finalists

Take a Mouth-Watering Look at the Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists

Photo: State Fair of Texas

Big Red® Chicken Bread by Brent & Juan Reaves. Homemade, melt-in-your-mouth, Big Red® -flavored frosting, 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. Fresh fruit wedges battered, deep fried, and coated in a secret sweet confection. Finished with creamy whipped topping, drizzled with warm caramel sauce. Additional toppings: candy, chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, and assorted berries offered.

Fla’Mango Tango by The Garza Family. A refreshingly creamy mango twist, fried and drizzled with a kicky citrus glaze. Whipped topping, served with a side of strawberry mango sorbet.

Peanut Butter Cup Snookie by Michelle Edwards. Fresh baked peanut butter cup cookie with vanilla ice cream adorned with caramel and chocolate drizzle, whipped cream, and a cherry.

Quick Fried “Black Gold” Truffles by Glen & Sherri Kusak. Thin chocolate cookies crushed into crumbs mixed with rich cream cheese. Add sweet, mini-white chocolate chips, all rolled into balls. Coated in golden breading (vanilla wafers, corn flakes, cinnamon, and nutmeg) fried to delicate crunch, drizzled with chocolate syrup.

15th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards 

Take a Mouth-Watering Look at the Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists

Photo: State Fair of Texas

The 15th annual Big Tex Choice Awards, sponsored by State Fair of Texas and Metro by T Mobile, are August 25. The event starts at 2 p.m. in the historic Tower Building at Fair Park in Dallas. A limited number of tickets are available online at for $125. Tickets include sampling all the ten finalists’ delicious fried foods.

Proceeds from the event are donated to Big Tex Scholarship Program. Over 2,400 students have been awarded more than $12.5 million by the program. Eligible recipients include graduating high school seniors across Texas who have participated in competitive youth livestock events held at the State Fair. Also 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.

The State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan since its start in 1886. It promotes agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The 2019 State Fair of Texas is Sept. 27-Oct. 20 in Fair Park. For special ticket packages or more information, click