The Wisconsin State Fair certainly has a reputation for unique and unusual foods, but this year the selection rose to a whole new level with the Fair’s Second Annual Food Competition, The Sporkies. Eight finalists were selected from over 30 entries, and a panel of celebrity judges chose the recipients of three Golden Spork Awards.
Golden Spork winners’ stands were marked with large banners and ALL vendors who entered featured a poster at their Fair location(s). All food items entered were also be available for purchase during this year’s State Fair (such as Lulu’s Caribbean Crepes, pictured below).
The second annual Sporkies Competition once again promoted creativity and ingenuity among Fair food vendors, who were encouraged to add some flair and pizzazz to their entries (like the Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Dog, shown below). To be considered for the competition, vendors were required to submit a new food item as well as a detailed description, ingredient list and photos.
NEW this year, the final judging and presentation of The Golden Spork Award for each of the three categories was be open to the public!
The celebrity judges tasted, deliberated and eventually chose winners in each of the following categories: “Best Tasting,” “Most Creative” and “Grand Champion.” The judging panel was moderated by “Wisconsin Foodie” host, all-around food aficionado and emcee Kyle Cherek. The 2014 Sporkies celebrity judges were:
- Joe Bartolotta, Milwaukee Restaurateur
- Theresa Nemetz, Milwaukee Food & City Tours
- Gilbert Brown, Super Bowl Champion and Green Bay Packer Hall of Famer
- April Aceto, Food Blogger and Photographer of FoodnFocus.com
- Jeff Sherman, Publisher, Founder and Owner of OnMilwaukee.com
Also NEW this year, Fair guests were encouraged to participate in the judging during the Fair by sampling all of The Sporkies entries and voting for their favorites via social media or at the new Guest Services Pavilion, located on Central Avenue near Central Park and the Exposition Center. Judging for the #FairgoersFave was open during the first several days of the Fair and Saz’s Ribs was awarded a Golden Spork Trophy for getting the most votes.
2014 Sporkies Finalists:
- Peanut Butter Bacon Bison Burger (PB3) – Exotic Meat Grill
- Bacon Wrapped Cherrywood Smoked Pork Belly On-a-Stick – Saz’s Ribs
- Chicken-n-Waffle Cone – Water Street Brewery
- Deep Fried Maple Bacon Cookie Dough – Emma’s Cookie Kitchen
- Dolce Panino (Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich) – La Coppa Artisan Gelato*
- Grannie Smith Caramel Apple Shake – Flavorburst Ice Cream
- Loaded Twister Dog – Water Street Brewery
- Lulu’s Caribbean Crepes – Tropics at the Fair
*La Coppa Artisan Gelato was named 2014 winner of Three Golden Spork Awards for Best Tasting, Most Creative and Grand Champion.
Please CLICK HERE for a list for all of the 2014 Sporkies Entries and Finalists.