and the FRIED FOOD WINNERS ARE….

The 15th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards finalists proved that there is no shortage of creativity when it comes to this competition. After tasting all 10 foods and carefully evaluating each item, the all-star panel of judges has tallied its scores and cast its final votes. Drum roll please…and the winners are: “Best Taste – Savory” goes to Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Taco Cone by Ruth Hauntz,

 

while Big Red® Chicken Bread by Brent & Juan Reaves of Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que wins “Best Taste – Sweet,”

 

and “Most Creative” presented by Metro by T-Mobile goes to the Fla’Mango Tango by the Garza Family.

Best Taste – Savory

Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Taco Cone by Ruth Hauntz (SAVORY)

Tender, savory, marinated, slow-cooked barbacoa served in an ice cream cone-shaped tortilla shell with black beans and cilantro lime rice. It is topped with pico de gallo, queso fresco, and homemade salsa verde. The perfect handheld treat to enjoy while strolling through the State Fair of Texas.

Best Taste – Sweet

Big Red® Chicken Bread by Brent & Juan Reaves (SWEET)

This new Fair favorite starts with a homemade, light, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth, Big Red® -flavored frosting, and served with a savory fried chicken wing resting in the middle of the doughnut. So long chicken and waffles, hello Big Red® Chicken Bread!

Most Creative

Fla’Mango Tango by The Garza Family (SWEET)

Mango like you’ve never tango’d before! Treat yourself with a refreshingly creamy mango twist, fried and drizzled with a kicky citrus glaze. Topped with whipped topping and served with a side of strawberry-mango sorbet. Presto’ Chango, that tangy explosion’s a Mango Tango!

This year’s event sponsor, Metro by T-Mobile, is proud to present this year’s Most Creative title to the Garza Family, who will offer their prize-winning dish at the 2019 State Fair of Texas.

“Metro by T-Mobile is excited to support small Texas businesses that showcase and celebrate creativity through providing the best deal in wireless,” said Gladys Marquez-Ramirez, spokesperson for Metro by T-Mobile.

With such a solid list of contenders in the final 10, this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards posed quite a challenge for the judges, who were tasked with picking the winning dishes. Going up against these winners, and proving to be very worthy opponents, the other foods that made it to the final round include: Calypso Island Shrimp Bowl by Stephen Alade, Fernie’s Fried Burnt End Burrito by the Winter Family, Southern Fried Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Ball by Greg Parish, Texas Cream Corn Casserole Fritters by Clint Probst, Deep Fried Bayou Fruit Bites by Terrence & Lisa Henderson, Peanut Butter Cup Snookie by Michelle Edwards, and Quick Fried “Black Gold” Truffles by Glen & Sherri Kusak.

The annual event requires several judges to face the trying task of taste-testing all 10 finalists. This year’s celebrity judges were Mayor of Dallas Eric Johnson; Adam Bazaldua – Dallas City Council – District 7; Samir Dhurandhar – founding chef of Nick & Sam’s; Chad Houser – founder, CEO, and executive chef of Café Momentum; Kyle Noonan –  owner of FreeRange Concepts, LeeAnne Locken – TV Personality, and Anastacia Quiñones – executive chef at José. Serving as the eighth judge, audience member Charles Archer from Rockwall, Texas was picked from the random drawing to fill the final spot as a special guest judge representing all fairgoers. Leading the awards ceremony as emcees were Michelle Rodriguez from New Country KSCS and Donovan Lewis from 1310 The Ticket.

If you missed out on the big event and didn’t get to taste all the finalists at the Big Tex Choice Awards, don’t worry – you still have 24 days to try all 10 items, plus a slew of other new foods being offered at the Fair this year. Fair fanatics can pick up a Visitor’s Guide, which includes a food map that lays out the vendor locations for each of the finalists or check out the food finder map on BigTex.com/Map, making it easy to map out your route and hit all the hot spots along the way. Visitor’s Guides will be available at State Fair Information Booths, as well as online at BigTex.com.

Opening its doors to the public for the first time in 2014, the Big Tex Choice Awards offered a limited number of State Fair fans the chance to attend and serve as taste testers for the food finalists in the annual competition. Building on the momentum of the past few years, the Fair once again sold tickets to the event, with all proceeds going to the Big Tex Scholarship Program. The 15th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards, presented by Metro by T-Mobile, proved to be an equally successful fundraising event. Over its 27-year history, the Big Tex Scholarship Program has awarded college scholarships to more than 2,400 students for a total of more than $12.5 million. Eligible recipients include graduating high school seniors from around the state of Texas who have competed in State Fair youth livestock events, graduating seniors from six Fair Park-area schools, and eligible State Fair of Texas seasonal employees or their dependents. For more information on other fundraising events, visit BigTex.com/Events or come out to our largest fundraiser of the year – the 2019 State Fair of Texas, opening September 27 in Fair Park.

K, gotta start doing my situps…like…NOW!

Lisa Taylor

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