Eight food vendors vie for coveted Sporkies

By DAN MUCKELBAUER - Conley News Service

August 4, 2017

WEST ALLIS — Then there were eight. The remaining entries out of 31 Sporkies will be cut again at the Wisconsin State Fair.

“The vendors have been coming up with interesting new foods for years and we came up with a way to reward them,” said Kristin Chuckel, State Fair communications director, of the origins of the fifth annual food competition.

“Because they get judged, they get judged on taste and quality as well as the uniqueness,” she said. “It also has to be easy to eat at the fair.”

On Wednesday, a Golden Spork will go to the top three winners decided by a panel of judges. Judging of the finalists starts at 11 a.m. at the Bank Mutual Amphitheater.

A fourth Golden Spork will be decided by fairgoers through Tuesday. Vote on Facebook via a voting app, on Twitter and Instagram using #FairgoersFave or at the Guest Services Pavilion on Central Avenue near Central Park and the Exposition Center.

This year, one fairgoer chosen in a will join the celebrity panel of former Green Bay Packer Leroy Butler, OnMilwaukee.com food and dining writer Lori Fredrich, Milwaukee radio pro Steve Palec and Fox 6 anchor Nicole Koglin.

Anyone can taste the final eight entries, just look for a 13-foot-tall Golden Spork Trophy. All vendors who entered will display a poster at their fair locations.

The finalists are:


Budweiser Pavilion Triple Threat

It includes three sliders — one Smoked Jalapeno, Bacon and Cheddar Brat Slider, one Budweiser barbeque Pulled Pork Slider and one Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger Slider — stacked and skewered on a stick.

Location: Budweiser Pavilion Grill. Buffalo Mac and Cheese Quesadilla

A quesadilla grilled to golden brown and stuffed with shredded buffalo chicken, queso mac and cheese, bacon, and crushed Doritos. Served with jalapenos and a side of blue cream cheese.

Location: Mexican Grill.

Chocomela Nachos

Hold the queso and bring on the sweetness with Chocomela Nachos, dessert nachos. Homemade cinnamon sugar tortilla chips are made to dip in salted caramel and milk chocolate gelato classics. Topped off with whipped cream sweet chocolate coating, and a salty peanut sauce with peanut pieces.

Location: La Coppa Artisan Gelato.

Deep-Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich Bites Tender morsels of grilled cheese bites deep fried to perfection and served with a creamy tomato dipping sauce.

Location: Tropics at the Fair.

Great Balls of Fire Sandwich

A sandwich that explodes with many flavors of spicy Hungarian sausage, garlic sour cream sauce, stuffing balls, pulled pork and creamy coleslaw.

Location: Rupena’s.

Monkey Business

It’s a caramelized banana burrito. Stuffed with house-made bacon jam and creamy peanut butter, then deep fried, drizzled with Wisconsin honey, and finished with a sprinkle of chipotle cinnamon sugar.

Location: Saz’s BBQ.

Spaghetti & Meatballs Mozzarella Sticks Albanese’s famous spaghetti and meatballs wrapped in a wonton with mozzarella and fried to golden goodness. Served with Albanese’s red sauce.

Location: Albanese’s Roadhouse.

Three Little Pigs Ravioli

Six slices of handwoven bacon stuffed with homemade bourbon bacon jam, house-smoked pulled pork shoulder and pancetta. Complemented by cream cheese, Wisconsin smoked gouda, scallions, onion and brown sugar. Served with homemade cherry bourbon bacon barbeque jam. Don’t expect to find any noodles.

Location: Brew City.