Some very delicious smells came from Fair Park in Dallas Monday as the winners of the 10th annual Big Tex Choice Awards were crowned.
The titles of "Best Tasting" and "Most Creative" were awarded to Clint Probst and Justin Martinez, respectively, for their creations of Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil and Funnel Cake Ale.
This annual competition puts some of the fair’s best cooks up against each other. The eight finalists in this year’s awards have all created items never seen before at the State Fair of Texas. Here is more on the winners from The State Fair of Texas:
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Clint Probst’s crowd-pleasing Cajun creation features everything you would expect in a shrimp boil rolled into a ball, dusted with Fish Fry, and fried to a golden brown. Baby gulf shrimp, diced red potatoes, onion, lemon, and seasoning are formed around a cocktail shrimp, dusted and fried with the tail sticking out for a handle. Served with a remoulade sauce, the Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil is a unique take on a classic meal, with just the right amount of kick!
As the only non-fried food in the contest, the Original State Fair Brew provides a light and delicious ale, reminiscent of one of the telltale flavors of the State Fair – funnel cake! Justin Martinez’s refreshing English style summer ale has been brewed to be crisp, with just the right amount of toastiness and sweetness, finishing with delicate notes of natural vanilla; all great flavors you find in a perfectly executed funnel cake. For those whose taste buds call for a sweeter finish, take advantage of the option to have the rim of your cup coated with powdered sugar.
Karissa Schuler, spokeswoman for The State Fair of Texas, said they have a great mix of sweet and savory this year, including "Sweet Fried Texas, which is a pecan pie, peach cobbler and a buttermilk pie, all mixed into one, but then again we have something on the spicy side like fried Sriracha balls.”
Along with extra business, winning a title is also historic.
“It is something that will hang on their stand for the entire fair and it will now hang in the tower building for the rest of history,” said Schuler.
Wondering what else you can try at this year's fair -- treats like the Chicken Fried Loaded Baked Potato or Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet -- check out the full list by clicking here.
The State Fair of Texas starts Sept. 26.