LIST: 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards finalists

Local News
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Since 2005, the State Fair’s Big Tex Choice Awards contest has solidified the annual exposition 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 Big Tex Choice Awards. Everything from Fried Beer to Fried Peaches and Cream have made the cut to become a part of an exclusive club. Tickets to the 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards judging and tasting are $100. Tickets to the event allow you to be the first to taste the 2016 Finalists. Included with your tickets is one admission ticket to the State Fair, a Fair-branded baseball cap, and a commemorative Big Tex refillable cup. All proceeds of the event go to the State Fair Youth Scholarship Fund.
 
The eight finalists for 2016 are as follows:
 
1) Caribbean Pineapple Korn-a-Copia
 
Created by Stephen Alade
 
Bringing a taste of Caribbean flare to the Fair, this dish stands out among the rest with its profile of fresh flavors. Marinated grilled chicken and shrimp are served over a bed of yellow Caribbean fried rice and topped with a tropical salsa and pineapple rum glaze. Served in a pineapple half shell, this Korn-a-Copia will have you ready for a day at the beach or a day the Fair!
 
2) Deep Fried Bacon Burger Dog Slider on a Stick
 
Created by Brent & Juan Reaves
 
Meat lovers are in for a treat with this tantalizing triple threat. A miniature, handmade seasoned ground beef patty is stuffed with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, and an all-beef hot dog on a Hawaiian roll. It is then placed on a skewer topped with a pickle, dipped in a tempura batter and deep fried to perfection. Every Bacon Burger Dog is served on a bed of shoe string fries with ranch dipping sauce.
 
3) Deep Fried Pulled Pork “FUNYUN®” Dings
 
Created by Chris Howard
 
Putting a tasty spin on a pantry staple, the unique combination of flavors in this deep fried dish create the perfect balance of sweet and savory. A “FUNYUN,” the traditional crunchy snack, is stuffed with pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, pineapple slices and bacon. It is then dipped in a flavorful batter and deep fried. Each order is served with a multilayered sweet BBQ sauce.
 
4) Fernie’s Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pocket with Mac ‘n Cheese Dip
 
Created by Christi Erpillo
 
Two classic American comfort foods, one mouth-watering meal! This ultimate taste extravaganza starts with a savory cream sauce chock-full of shredded roasted chicken breast, tender diced white potatoes, sweet carrots, peas, corn and a special blend of herbs and spices. This hearty filling is ladled into fresh, flaky pastry dough and then gently folded “hot pocket” style. Each bite of the deep fried, golden brown, buttery crust is bursting with a savory sauce of chicken and veggies. Pure down-home goodness! Served with a side of mac ‘n cheese-inspired dip, this unique sharp cheddar sauce creates a tantalizing flavor combination.
 
5) Fried Jell-O®
 
Created by Ruth Hauntz
 
For the first time in Big Tex Choice Awards history, America’s favorite childhood dessert is given a State Fair of Texas twist! A classic cherry-flavored Jell-O in a panko-crusted breading, flash-fried to perfection, and then dusted with powdered sugar. Prepared with a tasty topping of whipped cream and a cherry garnish, this dish has the perfect amount of crunch to compliment the jiggle.
 
6) Injectable Great Balls of BBQ
 
Created by Glen Kusak
 
Smoke-crusted BBQ beef brisket is hand shredded with bock BBQ sauce and molded to form balls. The ball of beef is then breaded with seasoned bread crumbs and deep fried to a crispy perfection. Served on top of a bed of coleslaw, each order comes with its own pipette of bock BBQ sauce to be injected into the brisket balls. Guaranteed to be a perfectly succulent bite every time.
 
7) Southern Fried Chicken & Dumplins
 
Created by Clint Probst
 
Putting a modern twist on a traditional Deep South favorite, this southern fried dish is a two-in-one hit! Juicy shredded chicken is mixed with bits of signature seasonings, dough and a touch of gravy. This decadent mixture is then rolled into balls, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried golden brown! Served with fried “biscuit bites” and a side of gravy, this dish is truly comfort food heaven!
 
8) State Fair Cookie Fries
 
Created by Isaac Rousso
 
A unique play on America’s favorite savory side dish. The cookie fry may look like it needs ketchup, but don’t be fooled by the classic crinkle-cut appearance. Offered in traditional cookie flavors like chocolate chip or sprinkles, these sweet treats are served with your choice of the accompanying strawberry or milk chocolate sauce. Just consider it an undercover cookie in fry-form disguise.

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