The tastiest time of the year is here! The culmination of hard work, sweat, and oil in creating the most appetizing Fair foods. The 19th Annual Big Tex® Choice Awards was one to be remembered. After tasting all 10 foods and evaluating each time, the all-star panel of judges tallied their scores and made their decisions. Without further ado… the winners are: “BEST TASTE – SAVORY” GOES TO THE DEEP FRIED PHO BY MICHELLE LE, “BEST TASTE – SWEET” GOES TO THE BISCOFF® DELIGHT BY STEPHEN EL GIDI, AND MOST CREATIVE BY CODY & LAUREN HAYS TAKES HOME “MOST CREATIVE”.
BEST TASTE – SAVORY DEEP FRIED PHO, Michelle Le
Bringing a southern flare to this popular traditional Vietnamese comfort food that is both rich and savory. Deep Fired Pho is handcrafted, rolled up, and deep-fried Texas style! This unique combination creates a perfect balance between flavorful and refreshing. With every bite, you get a harmonious and succulent mouthful of noodles, slices of beef, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and a taste of aromatic pho broth that has been slowly simmered for hours. To tie this experience together, it is served with a side of pho broth for dipping, lime, jalapeños, cilantro, hoisin sauce, and sriracha for a spicy, fiery kick!
BEST TASTE – SWEET BISCOFF® DELIGHT, Stephen El Gidi
Immerse yourself in the realm of a classic New York-style cheesecake coated with Belgian chocolate. Each bite reveals the symphony of an outer layer adorned with crushed Biscoff® cookies, offering a delightful crunch. To elevate this edible artwork, a drizzle of Lotus Biscoff® spread cascades gracefully, imparting a caramelized touch. Finally, a crowning glory is bestowed upon this culinary marvel with a perfectly placed Biscoff® cookie that entices you to embrace pure indulgence.
MOST CREATIVE – BOURBON BANANA CARAMEL SOPAPILLAS, Cody & Lauren Hays
Hot and delicious traditional sopapillas topped with vanilla-caramel-infused bananas, sweet bourbon syrup, crushed candied pecans, sweetened mascarpone cheese, crumbled Nilla Wafers, and dusted with powdered sugar.
Every year, the judges of the Big Tex Choice Awards face the tough yet tasty task of selecting the winning Fair foods – the task at hand this year was not easy; the field was especially competitive. Despite not taking home one of the titles today, the other delicious 2023 finalists include: Deep Fried Cheesy Crab Tater Bites by Isaac Rousso, Fernie’s Fried Cherry Pie in the Sky by Christi Erpillo & Johanna McKee, Loaded Fries Pizza by Tom Grace, Ox’cellent Soul Roll by Kerston & Shawn Thorns, Sweet Encanto by Tony & Terry Bednar, Trail-Ade by Ruth Hauntz, and Turkey Ribs by Abel Gonzales.
This year’s panel of celebrity judges was comprised of Brad Batson – Co-Founder, Karbach Brewing Company; Jamie “Jazze” Goodspeed-Maxie – Radio One Dallas; Mark Followill – TV Play-By-Play Announcer, Dallas Mavericks; Norm Hitzges – Local Radio Legend; Richard Chamberlain – Chef, Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House; Sumera Syed – Baker & Content Creator, @sumerathebaker; Zach & Tee – Food Content Creators, @zachandtee.