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State Fair of Texas announces 2014 food finalists in the Big Tex Choice Awards

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The tradition holds true every year and is a big reason why many people make the trip to Fair Park for the State Fair of Texas. The fried food and lots of it! Every year the food options and choices get bigger, better and bolder at the Big Tex Choice Awards and this year the finalists have been announced and the competition is fierce.

Since 2005, each year State Fair concessionaires cook up tasty and unique foods for a chance to become a finalist in the Big Tex® Choice Awards. In 2013, the Big Tex Choice Awards winners were chosen from eight finalists. Fried Thanksgiving Dinner, created by Justin Martinez, won Most Creative, and the Best Tasting food item was awarded to Issac Russo for his creation, the Fried Cuban Roll.

The eight finalists will be presenting their culinary creations to a panel of prestigious judges for two categories – Best Tasting & Most Creative. This year’s Big Tex Choice Awards judges are: Tiffany Derry, entrepreneur, restaurant consultant and television personality; Donovan Lewis, personality on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket; Cynthia Smoot, Dallas lifestyle blogger; Daniel Vaughn, the BBQ Snob and Barbecue Editor of Texas Monthly magazine; in addition to one lucky fairgoer who entered the Video Contest to be a judge at this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards. The emcee of 2014 Big Tex Choice Awards will be Hawkeye from 96.3 KSCS.

The State Fair of Texas is excited to announce this year’s finalists in the Big Tex Choice Awards, who will compete for the titles of Best Tasting and Most Creative. New on the list is a craft brew with a sweet twist. An homage to Dallas-Fort Worth's growing craft brew options.

Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil by Clint Probst
Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil by Clint Probst State Fair of Texas

Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil by Clint Probst

Everything you would expect in a shrimp boil rolled into a ball, dusted with Fish Fry, and fried to a golden brown!  Baby gulf shrimp, diced red potatoes, onion, lemon, and seasoning are formed around a cocktail shrimp, dusted and fried with the tail sticking out for a handle.  Served with a remoulade sauce.

Fried Sriracha Balls by Mark Zable
Fried Sriracha Balls by Mark Zable State Fair of Texas

Fried Sriracha Balls by Mark Zable

A lip-smacking combination of shredded chicken, corn, green chilies, tomatoes, and Sriracha hot sauce, formed into balls and coated with crispy tortilla chips.  It is then flash-fried until golden brown.  For those who like their food higher on the Scoville Scale, extra Sriracha Sauce is available.

 Fried Sweet Texas by Justin Martinez
Fried Sweet Texas by Justin Martinez State Fair of Texas

Fried Sweet Texas by Justin Martinez

Traveling across Texas to try the best and most popular desserts gave inspiration for this fried treat.  Fried Sweet Texas starts with fresh pie dough filled with crunchy pecan pie, juicy peach cobbler, and creamy buttermilk pie.  It is then deep fried until the crust is golden brown and flaky, and then served up with a side of Texas' own Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream. A real tribute to Texans and their amazing sweet treats!

Chicken Fried Loaded Baked Potato by Butch Benavides
Chicken Fried Loaded Baked Potato by Butch Benavides State Fair of Texas

Chicken Fried Loaded Baked Potato by Butch Benavides

The creamy and moist insides of a baked potato, loaded with generous amounts of butter, bacon, and cheddar cheese, are coated and battered with a delectable blend of spices and flour that create a perfect combination of fried crispy crust and delicious, creamy loaded baked potato.  Served with a ranch dipping sauce.

Deep Fried "Breakfast for Dinner" by Edna Sutton & Tom Grace
Deep Fried "Breakfast for Dinner" by Edna Sutton & Tom Grace State Fair of Texas

Deep Fried "Breakfast for Dinner" by Edna Sutton & Tom Grace

A twist on a favorite American dinner--"Breakfast for Dinner."  This is a 10" flour tortilla stuffed with eight favorite breakfast items – scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, bacon, potatoes, ham, onion, cheddar cheese and gooey cinnamon roll bits – that are deep fried until golden brown and served with a creamy country gravy, salsa and a pico-queso dip.

Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet by Isaac Rousso
Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet by Isaac Rousso State Fair of Texas

Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet by Isaac Rousso

The Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet is a blueberry muffin, scone-style batter that is stuffed with cream cheese, blueberries and sweet morsels of white chocolate.  It is baked and deep fried to a perfect golden brown.  This mountain of flavor is topped off with whipped cream, chopped white chocolate morsels, powdered sugar, blueberries, and a delicious blueberry glaze.

Fried Sweet Texas by Justin Martinez
Fried Sweet Texas by Justin Martinez State Fair of Texas

Fried Sweet Texas by Justin Martinez

Traveling across Texas to try the best and most popular desserts gave inspiration for this fried treat.  Fried Sweet Texas starts with fresh pie dough filled with crunchy pecan pie, juicy peach cobbler, and creamy buttermilk pie.  It is then deep fried until the crust is golden brown and flaky, and then served up with a side of Texas' own Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream. A real tribute to Texans and their amazing sweet treats!

Original State Fair Brew – Funnel Cake Ale by Justin Martinez
Original State Fair Brew – Funnel Cake Ale by Justin Martinez State Fair of Texas

Original State Fair Brew – Funnel Cake Ale by Justin Martinez

A light and delicious ale brewed to be reminiscent of one of the telltale flavors of the State Fair – FUNNEL CAKE!  This refreshing English style summer ale has been brewed to be ready and crisp, with just the right amount of toastiness and sweetness, finishing with delicate notes of natural vanilla; all great flavors you find in a perfectly executed funnel cake.  For those whose taste buds call for a sweeter finish, take advantage of the option to have the rim of your cup coated with powdered sugar.  Must be 21 years of age. 

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