Every year the State Fair concessionaires compete in the Big Tex Choice Awards to become the “It Fried Food” of the Texas State Fair. Last year, 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.
This morning the eight finalists announced on August 18 went before the judges: Tiffany Derry, chef/entrepreneur and TV host; Donovan Lewis of Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket; Cynthia Smoot, a Dallas lifestyle blogger; Daniel “The” Vaughn, Barbecue Editor at Texas Monthly and one lucky fairgoer.
The results of today’s competition: Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil wins Best Tasting. Funnel Cake Ale wins Most Creative.
Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil by Clint Probst
If you’ve ever had a real shrimp boil, you know that it’s not complete without tons of lemon, red potatoes and onions. The creator of this concoction takes all those crucial ingredients, rolls them into a ball around a cocktail shrimp, dusts them with Fish Fry, and fries them to that crunchy goldenness that all fair food strives to achieve. The tail of the shrimp is kindly left sticking out for you to hold on to, and the balls are served with remoulade sauce.
Original State Fair Brew – Funnel Cake Ale by Justin Martinez
The only non-deep-fried item in the running is only for grown-ups (21+). But don’t worry – it still tastes fried. A little toasty, a little sweet, this English-style summer ale has notes of natural vanilla to emulate the most revered of fair food: funnel cake. For those seeking to satisfy the inner kid, you can have your glass rimmed with powdered sugar.
Well, what do you think? The Texas State Fair runs from September 26 to October 19.