The room got a little dusty during the ceremony honoring the winners of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's annual Gold Buckle Foodie Awards. Upon being awarded her third first-place trophy, Custom Confections owner Kimberly Revis teared up as she hugged and kissed her husband Anthony.
It's was a surprisingly poignant moment at the annual event that brings together more than 40 print, broadcast, and online journalists to determine the best food sold on the Rodeo grounds in eight categories. Judges range from venerable favorites like TV and radio host Cleverley Stone to newcomers like 18-year old Savannah Keyes, who's covering the Rodeo for Radio Disney.
Winning brings rewards. Beyond media exposure, attendees who eat every winning dish earn an "I ate all eight" T-shirt. Even people who only eat four get a specially-branded koozie. Considering someone can knock one three at once by going to Custom Confections and ordering the fried brownie ball, the Emma (a chocolate brownie sundae), and the Ultimate (an ice cream cookie sandwich), that shouldn't be too hard to do.
Other winners included Holmes Smokehouse for a bacon chili cheeseburger, Stubby's Cinnamon Rolls (a perennial winner in the breakfast category), Paradise Burgers (for a brownie/cookie hybrid), and Berryhill Baja Grill, which upset the favorites in the ultra-competitive Food on a Stick category.
Just like last year, the appearance of scorpion pizza from Swain's Pizza on a Stick brought a flood of cameras and a selective freakout. Credit Channel 39's Maggie Flecknoe and Hot 95.7 host Sarah Pepper for taking the plunge.
Here's the full list of winners:
Best Breakfast Food
1st: Stubby’s Cinnamon Rolls: Cinnamon Roll with icing
2nd: Stubby’s: Big Stone
3rd: Burton Sausage: Kitchen Sink Taco
1st: Stubby’s Cinnamon Rolls: Original Cinnamon Roll
2nd: Ranch House Meats: BBQ plate
3rd: Stubby’s: Loaded Baked Potato
1st: Berryhill Baja Grill: Shrimp Diablo Kabob
2nd: Saltgrass Steak House: Steak Kabob
3rd: R Fair Fix: Cookie Clough
Classic Fair Food
1st: Holmes Smokehouse: Bacon Chili Cheeseburger
2nd: Biggy’s BBQ: Big Daddy Corndog
3rd: Saltgrass Steak House: Pork Stuffed Potato
Most Creative Food
1st: Custom Confections: The Ultimate
2nd: Taco Me Crazy: Pulled Pork Mexican Bowl
3rd: Fried What: Bacon Wrapped Oreo
Best Fried Food
1st: Custom Confections: Fried Brownie Ball with ice cream
2nd: Aunt Edmoe’s Cookies: Fried Cookie Dough-on-a-Stick
3rd: Berryhill Baja Grill: Original Fish Taco
Best New Flavor
1st: Paradise Burgers: The Brookie
2nd: Sills Funnel Cakes: Fried S’mores
3rd: Taco Me Crazy: Brisket Tacos
1st: Custom Confections: The Emma
2nd: Fried A Fair: Deep Fried Butter
3rd: Granny’s Cheesecake & More: Cheesecake with strawberries and caramel