Fried Feast: State Fair Chefs ‘Batter’ It Out

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Dallas— You name it, you can fry it! The Texas State Fair isn’t complete without the food. You remember, fried butter…fried bubblegum…fried margaritas??

“What’s not to be excited about? It’s deep-fried everything!” one visitor said.

Eight fried finalists battered it out Monday, for the title of ‘best tasting’ at the Big Tex Choice awards.  But this wasn’t a cake walk.  The chefs had to get their plates past a panel of celebrity judges. One judge was a finalist on Top Chef. Talk about pressure!

“This year, we did ’Twisted Texas Tacos’ and I am a nervous wreck,” Christi Erpillo said.   “We’ve had some issues back here with fryers or warmers or whatever, so I’m nervous—very, very nervous,” she added, with her fingers crossed.

A few weeks ago, NewsFix told you about the fried fare that made it to the top. But, there can only be one winner. Drum roll please!

Talk about a catch — Clint Probst’s Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil balls got the blue ribbon.

“We just won best tasting with our fried gulf shrimp boil,” Probst said.  “Sorry, I’m a little..[emotional]  I haven’t even been able to wrap my head around it yet.  Elated. Elated.”

Seems like the judges and the crowd were pretty impressed.

“It’s the best of the best, but at the end of the day, there was one that stayed in my mind and that was that shrimp boil,” celebrity judge and Top Chef alum, Tiffany Derry said.   “Then this ball came out, and I’m like oh, Lord, I hope it’s not going to be dry or anything, but it was delicious!”

“I wanted to give just enough tummy room to all those other guys that worked so hard to make something to have us enjoy,” public-voted ‘Biggest Fan’ and judge, Tim Bennett said.

“It will be [our baby’s] first state fair,” the Vecchione family said.  “So we’re getting him ready.  “Fried food might not be on the plate this year…but we might give him a little nibble.”

The Funnel Cake Ale came in as Most Creative.  Hey! Funnel cake and a beer at the same time? What a time-saver!

Guess deep fried dreams do come true!   And check this out—we’re all winners because we get to dive into these fried goodies when the State Fair starts September 26th. So, loosen those belts!