State Fair of Texas

City Bigwigs and Chefs Highlight Judges in Fair’s Big Tex Choice Awards

Your judges for the 15th annual Big Tex Choice Awards
Your judges for the 15th annual Big Tex Choice Awards State Fair of Texas
The State Fair of Texas has released its lineup of judges for Sunday's Big Tex Choice Awards.

The fair saw 49 entries this year, which were narrowed to 33 semifinalists (20 savory, 13 sweet). Ten of those will compete in the final round at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25. As for the experts doing the judging, we'll see people from the Dallas City Council horseshoe and leaders in local kitchens.

Our new mayor, former state Rep. Eric Johnson, is one, along with new councilman for District 7, Adam Bazaldua, who was also a former chef and DISD culinary teacher.

On the chefs side, food will also be judged by Samir Dhurandhar, corporate chef for Nick and Sam's Steakhouse; Chad Houser, founder, CEO and executive chef of Cafe Momentum; Kyle Noonan, founder and CEO of FreeRange Concepts (The Rustic, Bowl and Barrel); and Anastacia Quinones-Pittman, executive chef at Jose Restaurant.

TV personality and author LeeAnne Locken will also help in these important decisions.

click to enlarge Big Red Chicken Bread: With a doughnut covered in some Big Red flavoring, there's no telling if this will taste great or not. But the chicken wing has sunglasses on it, and that's entertaining. - STATE FAIR OF TEXAS
Big Red Chicken Bread: With a doughnut covered in some Big Red flavoring, there's no telling if this will taste great or not. But the chicken wing has sunglasses on it, and that's entertaining.
State Fair of Texas
The finalists were recently announced, and those attending Sunday's event will not only watch the judging go down; they'll be the first to sample these foods that are either creative or outrageous, depending on how you look at them.

Top winners will be announced for Best Taste - Savory, Best Taste - Sweet and Most Creative.

Tickets are sold out for the event, where all proceeds will be donated to the Big Tex Scholarship Program.

Don't feel badly if you missed your chance to pay $125 to get in Sunday. A season pass seems relatively minimal at only $45 a pop.

The 2019 State Fair of Texas will run Sept. 27 through Oct. 20 at Fair Park.
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Taylor Adams has written about the restaurant industry for the Dallas Observer since 2016. Now the Observer's food editor, she attended Southern Methodist University before covering local news at The Dallas Morning News.