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State Fair of Texas Announces 2019 Big Tex Choice Awards Semi-Finalists

Making it to the semi-final round isn’t easy, so these concessionaires have something to celebrate.

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Photo courtesy of State Fair of Texas

With only 63 days until opening day of the 2019 State Fair of Texas, the competition to make it to the 15th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards is heating up.

State Fair concessionaires are busy perfecting their innovative offerings in hopes of getting into the final round of judging at the coveted event.

After the first round of judging, 33 semi-finalists – 20 savory and 13 sweet entries – are moving forward, putting these contenders one step closer to the main event, where they will compete for one of three winning titles: “Best Taste – Sweet,” “Best Taste – Savory,” and “Most Creative.”

The contest started in mid-July with 49 individual entries from 30 concessionaires. It is required that competitors have at least one year of experience as a concessionaire at the State Fair of Texas before entering.

Making past the first round requires contestants to be super creative with the name and description of their original creations.

Judges are looking for the food with the name and description that sounds most appealing to their personal palette, just like a fairgoer might do while at the Fair.

Over the next several weeks, the second round of preliminary judging will begin, and these edible creations will have to prove to the panel of judges that they are just as delicious as they sound.

The tasting round will judge each semi-finalist on, at minimum, four main ingredients of a finalist-worthy concoction: uniqueness, presentation, creativity and, of course, taste.

To keep everything fair and solely based on the food, judges sample each submission during a “blind judging” throughout the entire process.

Judges will also have to defend their rankings against the seemingly simple yet crucial question – how likely is a fairgoer to actually buy the item?

The top 10 finalists, to be announced in mid-August, will go on to compete live in the final round at this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards ceremony.

Even if your entry of choice does not make it to the main event, concessionaires can still choose to introduce their food at their stand as a “new food” during this year’s State Fair.

The 15th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards, presented by Metro by T-Mobile, will take place Sunday, August 25 at 2pm in the historic Tower Building at Fair Park.

A limited number of tickets are available online for $125. Tickets always sell out, so get yours fast. You do not want to miss the chance to view the competition while getting a first taste of this year’s new Fair foods.

All proceeds from the annual Big Tex Choice Awards competition are donated to the Big Tex Scholarship Program, which provides college scholarships to students across the Lone Star State.

Around + Beyond

Chinese New Year Dinner

The Chinese New Year is filled with lots tradition. Come celebrate at The Chinese Neighbor.

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Photo courtesy of The Chinese Neighbor

The Chinese Neighbor will host an 8-course feast of special dishes by Chef Bob Tam on Sunday, January 26 from 5pm to 7pm at the Prosper, TX location.

The Chinese New Year is filled with lots tradition. The Year of the rat celebrates wealth, surplus and the beginning of a new day.

The menu has been set, but may change due to availability of ingredients & Chef Bob Tam’s whimsey.

First Course – Malted Shrimp Chips, Chinese Onion Dip
Second Course – Century Deviled Eggs
Third Course – Smoked Salmon “Everything” Eggroll
Fourth Course – Mustard Green Egg Drop Soup
Fifth Course – Grilled Cheese Dumpling, H.K. Borscht
Sixth Course – Golden Boy Pizza’s Clams Clams & Garlic, Lo Bak Go (Daikon Crepe)
Seventh Course – Mala (Sichaun Peppercorn), Carbonara Lo Mien
Eight Course – Truffle & Crispy Egg Custard Fried Rice

Visit the Eventbrite page for more details and to purchase tickets.

This information was provided as a press release.

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Food + Drink

Food Championships Coming to Fair Park

The World Food Championships is will join a wonderful lineup of 2020 events in the historic location.

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Photo courtesy of World Food Championships

World Food Championships (WFC), the multi-day, highest stakes food competition, announced that it will hold its 9th annual Tournament of Champions at one of Dallas’ most historic venues, Centennial Hall at Fair Park, from November 6-10, 2020.

Fair Park, which serves as the location for many popular events such as the State Fair of Texas, the North Texas Irish Festival and Earth X and most recently the NHL’s Winter Classic, offers numerous benefits to WFC’s 2020 program line-up, not to mention a unique backdrop of iconic Art Deco architecture for the Ultimate Food Fight.

“We are thrilled to host the 9th Annual World Food Championships and look forward to working with the organizers to make it the best World Food Championships ever,” commented Spectra’s Peter Sullivan, General Manager for Fair Park.

The Fair Park location offers a first-time opportunity for WFC to conduct most of its food-fighting activity indoors. Providing a space big enough to encompass this larger-than-life food experience inside was one of Centennial Hall’s unique qualities.

The live-event culinary competition showcases some of the world’s best cooking masters competing for food, fame and fortune in ten categories. In 2019, more than 450 culinary teams from 11 countries and 42 American states competed in WFC’s Main Event. The Ten Category champs crowned will now face-off in the $100,000 challenge that will determine the overall World Food Champion at The Final Table: Indianapolis in May 2020.

“Moving to Fair Park in Dallas is going to be a milestone moment for WFC,” commented Mike McCloud, President and CEO of WFC. “We will be able to contain the majority of our activities — from cooking to judging, competitor award programs to sponsor demos and consumer sampling — under one roof. But probably most importantly, we will be able to control the cooking environment better than ever and not worry about weather elements like wind, rain or humidity. This will be a huge benefit to our teams’ abilities to cook and compete at their very best.”

More news and ticket information about WFC 2020 and plans for the new venue will be revealed throughout the coming months. Follow the World Food Championships on Twitter (@WorldFoodChamp), Facebook and Instagram (@WorldFoodChampionships) for more Food Sport updates.

This information was provided as a press release.

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Food + Drink

Tailgate BBQ at Four Seasons Dallas with Pitmaster Jack Arnold of Snake River Farms

Don’t miss this exciting dining experience.

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Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Dallas

In Texas, tailgating is an art. It takes proper planning and execution. Moreover, to execute the best tailgate, one must have the best grill.

Four Seasons Resort Dallas welcomes Pitmaster and Guest Chef Jack Arnold from Snake River Farms and Big Green Egg to showcase the ultimate grilling experience.

The Tailgate Barbecue kicks off at 6:00 pm on November 30, 2019 in the Pavilion at Four Seasons Resort Dallas.

“We are looking forward to a great evening with Jack and serving up a delicious menu that will leave attendees salivating for more barbecue,” says Christof Syré, Executive Chef at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas.

Jack, who exclusively cooks on four Big Green Egg grills, will share tips and grilling techniques as well as his passion for grilling that he learned from his dad, a south Texan and his main inspiration for charcoal grilled and slow smoked beef. Jack represents Snake River Farms, which is a family-owned company with more than 50 years of experience in the beef industry, producing some of the highest quality American wagyu beef from ranch to table.

Chef Syré and Guest Chef Jack Arnold’s mouth-watering menu includes bourbon molasses blazed Snake River Farms kurobuta pork shoulder tacos; Texas bobby quail, jalapeño, goat cheese and bacon lollipops; hickory charred Snake River Farms American wagyu black grade cap of ribeye bites; brown sugar guajillo Snake River Farms pork belly; and whole grilled red fish with sweet peppers, caramelized onions and canton tomatoes. Side dishes served up from the grill are charred shishito peppers with smoked tomato aioli; charred fall veggie kebabs with chimichurri; and cast iron roasted patatas brava with guajillo spiced sea salt.

Accompaniments include warm BBQ potato salad; cole slaw; grilled baby romaine; and corn and black bean salad.

Finish up the evening with pumpkin pie in a jar; cherry cobblers; bourbon flamed baked Alaska; banana pudding; warm cookies; baked brown sugar caramel apples; and liquid nitro ice cream.

The event is $65 per person and a cash bar is available for libations. Reservations are highly recommended. Call 972 717 2525 to reserve a spot.

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