Now that the winners have been notified, I can pass them along to the public:
Best Overall: Tequila Lime Pudding from Interurban
Best Sweet: Fried Peaches at Harry Bear’s
Best Savory: Italian Nachos from Adella’s
Best Cart item: Caramel Apples from Rodney and Lisa’s.
The Italian Nachos narrowly defeated the Jaffles from the Australian Jaffles booth. In the end presentation was the deciding factor as both were delicious. The chicken croquettes from Deep Fork were in the conversation for Best Savory as was the Chicken Stroganoff from Cafe do Brasil, the fish tacos from Craig and Carter’s and the Mufuletta from Bon Appetit Catering.
The Best Sweets category went much faster. The Tequila Bread Pudding was the clear winner, so clear we elected to make it Best of Show, which allowed us to give the Best Sweet to Harry Bear’s, which was the first thing I ever ate in Oklahoma City upon a visit to a girlfriend back in 1987. My relationship with the fried peaches continues while the girlfriend is just another person that I used to know. Strawberries Newport wowed judge Terry Adams, who’d never had it before. Laveryl Lower, whose husband Chris is a member of the family who introduced the dish to Oklahoma City, and I agreed that familiarity might’ve worked against it, though they were among the finalists. We also discussed the Caramel Knowledge to the end.
As for the Best Cart, the Caramel Apples were the clear winner. Hazel Purkey’s Pecan Roll was discussed, and the Caramel Corn from Sweet Corn Express brought a smile to Laveryl’s face making it impossible not to send her home with the leftovers, but the Caramel Apples reigned easily.
What a great time it was checking out samples from all the booths for the first time and being a part of this first-time event. Get on out to the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts and enjoy the food. We didn’t really find anything we wouldn’t try again.