Photo by Julie Soefer

The State Fair of Texas has launched a new competition that will take place not-during-regular-Fair-hours and help manage three of their most popular cookoffs.

Called "Battle for the Blue Ribbons," the competition will run May 19-21, in the Embarcadero Building at Fair Park, and will be centered on three categories: Cookies, Cakes, and Bread. These are the three most popular Creative Arts cooking contests that take place during the State Fair's annual competition events.

These three are so popular that they've become nearly overwhelming. This new competition will serve as a preliminary event and create a set of semifinalists who move on to compete in the regular contests in the fall.

The goal is to help manage the swell of contestants which have increased in recent years, says State Fair spokesperson Karissa Condoaianis.

"These three competitions are our largest, and have grown so much that it's been hard to accommodate the number of people who want to enter," Condoianis says. "Last year, bread alone had nearly 300 entries, and cookies and cake both had more than 200 entries."

"If you've been in the Creative Arts Building, you know there's only so much room to expand," she says.

Breaking off these contests into preliminary events increases visibility and helps fulfill their goal to maintain year-round relevance for the State Fair of Texas.

"We're working to keep the facility activated throught the year and draw people out to Fair Park," Condoianis says.

It's a sea change for participants who've been accustomed to submitting entries in the fall, but Condoianis says that the feedback they've received from longtime contestants has been positive.

"Our goal by doing this is to provide more opportunity for a broader audience to get engaged," she says. "My hope is that it adds more participation."

They welcome contestants of all ages, who can enter all three contests, but limited to six submissions per contest with one submission per category. There are 45 categories total.

Friday May 19
Cookies, with the following categories:

  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Christmas
  • Gluten-free
  • Holiday (Any)
  • Lemon
  • Macaron
  • Macaroon
  • Oatmeal
  • Party
  • Peanut Butter
  • Shortbread
  • Snickerdoodle
  • Spice
  • Sugar

Saturday, May 20
Cake with two divisions:

Layered Cake – Two Layers Only

  • Carrot
  • German Chocolate
  • Gluten-free (Any)
  • Spice
  • White (No Yolks)
  • Yellow

Loaf, Bundt, or Sheet Cake

  • Angel Food
  • Cupcakes (12)
  • Fruitcake
  • Gluten-free (Any)
  • Nut
  • Pound
  • Spice
  • Sweet Roulade (Cake Roll)
  • Upside Down Cake

Sunday, May 21
Bread, also with two categories.

Yeast Bread:

  • Bread (Cheese, Herb, Onion, etc.)
  • Gluten-free Bread (Any)
  • Loaf Bread, Other (Whole Loaf)
  • Loaf Bread, White (Whole Loaf)
  • Rolls, Dinner (12)
  • Sweetbread, Loaf, and Coffee Cakes
  • Sweetbread, Sweet Rolls (Cinnamon, Fruit, etc.)

Quick Bread (No added sauces or whipped cream)

  • Coffee Cake
  • Combo Bread (Fruit/Vegetable)
  • Cornbread
  • Fruit Bread (Apple, Banana, etc.)
  • Gluten-free Bread (Any)
  • Muffins (12)
  • Sourdough
  • Vegetable Bread (Pumpkin, Zucchini, etc.)

One contestant from each of the three contests will be awarded a Best of Show ribbon, allowing them to advance to a head-to-head battle for a Best of Show-Down grand prize.


State Fair of Texas adds serious gourmet treats from DFW restaurants

State Fair News

The 2022 State Fair of Texas is about to commence, with opening day on September 30, and discounts galore.

On the foodie front, for the first time, they've added seven new food stands from some notable Dallas-area restaurants.

These are above and beyond the usual concessionaires, and also have nothing to do with the Big Tex awards (which this year include a Fried Charcuterie Board and a sweet called Peanut Butter Paradise).

No, these are serious gourmet goodies that range from irresistible empanadas to gourmet soft-serve ice cream to Neapolitan pizza topped with BBQ.

These are the seven brand-new vendors joining the lineup at the 2022 State Fair of Texas:

Empanadas and fries from Chimichurri & Milagro Taco Cantina
Award-winning chef Jesus Carmona’s new stand will be serving dishes from his two Dallas restaurants, Chimichurri and Milagro Taco Cantina. He'll be doing two types of empanadas, plus a campeona taco, a burrito Texano, and mole fries, drizzled with mole sauce, crema fresca, and cotija cheese. Carmona was nominated for Rising Star Chef in CultureMap’s 2018 Tastemaker Awards and appeared on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri.

Candy pickles from Di-Licious Candies Pickles Factory
Known as the “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” of pickles, the family-owned and -operated Di-Licious Candies Pickles Factory is the “first original candy pickle factory in the entire world” and has more than 250 flavors of candy pickles. Featured dishes include their signature chamoy candy pickle along with candy pickles in a cup, Rainbow Brite candy pickle sundae, and cotton candy pickle roll crunch.

Pumpkin spice cheesecake on a stick from Drizzle Cheesecakes
Olympic athlete Stephen El Gidi and his partner Walid founded Drizzle Cheesecakes in 2018. Their business has made appearances across North America from southwestern Ontario to neighbors at Six Flags Over Texas’ Holiday in the Park. Drizzle’s New York-style cheesecake on a stick is dipped in magic-shell Belgian chocolate and rolled in a variety of toppings including crushed Oreos, red velvet cake, strawberry crumble, and more. Their stand will feature specialty flavors developed just for the State Fair of Texas including pumpkin spice cheesecake.

Loaded queso fries by Enjoy Foods
Founded in 2012, Enjoy Foods started out as a gourmet kitchen store in Rockwall from owners Dwaina Morris and her husband They'll be serving loaded queso fries, loaded queso nachos, fried chicken tacos, root beer floats, brownie sundaes, daiquiris, and fried jalapeños. One extra-unique item is their adult-infused jumbo Texas pickle infused with daiquiri mix.

Gourmet soft-serve ice cream by Once Upon a Cone
Once Upon a Cone has been soft-serving delicious ice cream treats all over Texas for the past 12 years. They do premium vanilla, chocolate, and swirled soft-serve ice cream along with specialty sundaes, shakes, floats, and malts. Their dipped cones are available in chocolate, cherry, butterscotch, and birthday cake flavors.

Nashville hot chicken by Palmer’s Hot Chicken Dallas
The Nashville Hot Chicken restaurant concept from Dallas native Palmer Fortune and his partner and chef Mills Garwood will serve the Motherclucker sandwich, a fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese and pickles; jumbo tenders; banana pudding; and tots, plain or smothered in pimento cheese queso). Plus their Frosé wine slushy made with pureed strawberries, hibiscus, and lime.

Neapolitan-style burnt ends pizza by Texapolitan Pizza
Stephan Nedwetzky of Pit Commander Barbecue is using barbecue as the topping on his favorite type of pizza, Neapolitan. Each pizza is made from 00 flour imported from Italy and needs only 90 seconds in the 900-1,000-degree stone oven to reach thin, crispy perfection. Four personal-sized pizza pies will include margherita, pepperoni, cheese, and smoked pork belly burnt ends. That one consists of red sauce, mozzarella, smoked pork belly burnt ends, jalapeños, cotija cheese, and Pit Commander Barbecue Sweet Heat BBQ sauce.

State Fair of Texas

State Fair of Texas unveils 10 creative fried foods for 2022 Big Tex Awards

State Fair News

The 2022 batch of fried foods has arrived: The State Fair of Texas has chosen the finalists for its annual Big Tex Choice Awards, with 10 state fair vendors who will compete for acclaim with their various kooky concoctions.

This year's competition drew 51 entries from 36 concessionaires. Entries are evaluated on uniqueness, creativity, presentation, and taste.

The finalists will participate in a competition on August 28 when a panel of judges gives three awards, for Best Taste – Savory, Best Taste – Sweet, and Most Creative.

UPDATE 8-28-2022: The winners are as follows:

  • Best Taste – Savory: Fried Charcuterie Board
  • Best Taste – Sweet: Peanut Butter Paradise
  • Most Creative: Cha-Cha Chata

The finalists are:


Chicharron Explosion Nachos, Glen & Sherri Kusak
Fried pork rinds with Cajun-style seasonings topped with beef fajita meat, queso, and BBQ chopped beef.

Deep Fried BLT, Tom Grace
A 12-inch rectangular tortilla filled with bacon and cheddar cheese is fried, then used as sandwich bread to hold lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Served with garlic parmesan potato chips.

Deep Fried Lasagna Roll, Parish Family
Lasagna made with ricotta, parmesan, provolone, mozzarella, and meat sauce is rolled, dipped in cheddar-herb batter, fried, then garnished with marinara, mozzarella, and basil. Served with zucchini fries.

Fried Charcuterie Board, Tami Nevins-Mayes & Josey Mayes
Mozzarella, salami, and green apple wrapped in a wonton wrapper and fried, topped with goat cheese and hot honey.

Holy Biscuit, Isaac Rousso
Biscuit topped with brisket, street corn queso, bacon, honey, and fried pickles.


Cha-Cha Chata, Garza Family
Horchata milkshake with caramel, cinnamon, whipped topping, crushed candy, cinnamon galletas de gragega, and fried arroz con leche bites.

Deep Fried Rocky Road with Blue Bell Ice Cream, Cody & Lauren Hays
Rocky Road fudge coated with batter and fried, drizzled with chocolate syrup, sweetened condensed milk, mini marshmallows, and cinnamon glazed nuts, served with a cup of Blue Bell Ice Cream vanilla ice cream.

La Bluebonnet, Milton & Grace Whitley
Citrus juice, blueberries, and sugary base poured over ice.

Peanut Butter Paradise, Chris Easter & Nicole Sternes
Honey bun injected with caramel, topped with peanut butter, Reese's Pieces, Crushed Butterfinger, peanut butter cups, and more caramel.

The Ultimate Brookie Monster, Juan & Brent Reaves
A "brookie" consisting of a brownie with chocolate chip cookies, Oreos, and marshmallows baked inside, then battered and fried. Served with vanilla ice cream, then topped with cheesecake crumbles and strawberry sauce.

The 2022 State Fair of Texas will open on Friday September 30 and run through Sunday October 23. Here's how to get every possible discount.

Courtesy photo

How to get every possible discount at the 2022 State Fair of Texas

Deals for Days

The 2022 edition of the State Fair of Texas starts its 24-day run at Fair Park on September 30, with music, games, and food.

But what we're here for is discounts.

There are a multitude of discount ticket options and deals being offered by the State Fair and other entities, meaning there's no reason you should ever pay full price.

General admission ticket prices are tiered depending on the day of the week you go:

  • Monday-Thursday: $15 for adults, $10 for kids 3-12 and seniors 60 and over
  • Friday: $20 for adults, $15 for kids 3-12 and seniors 60 and over
  • Saturday-Sunday: $25 for adults, $18 for kids 3-12 and seniors 60 and over

Visitors must choose which specific date they want to attend, and tickets are good only for the date chosen and cannot be used on another day. Be careful with purchases; tickets are not eligible for reschedule, refund, or transfer.

General admission tickets go on sale September 12, and can be purchased online or at the gate.

Premium tickets are $24 and allow you to come on any day. Two-pack and four-pack combos for premium tickets with food and ride coupons are also available. As a bonus, CultureMap is giving you $15 off a ticket & coupon two-pack when you use the promo code 22mapCOMBO.

Premium tickets went on sale August 1, and are available online only.

Below are the many ways we've found for you to save money on tickets to State Fair of Texas.

The season pass
If you plan on going to the fair more than two times, individual season passes are the only way to go. Prices are $50 at BigTex.com and include one single-day, Bring-a-Friend ticket; a State Fair reusable bag; a 10 percent off coupon for State Fair merchandise; and more. The upfront cost, which can be done in advance or at the gate, pays for itself on the third visit.

If you want to buy food/ride tickets without waiting in line once you get there, you can also buy the $150 Season Pass 2-Pack Combo, which includes two season passes and 50 food/ride tickets (worth $50). As a bonus, CultureMap is giving you $30 off the combo when you use the promo code 22mapPASS.

Food/ride tickets remain at $1 per coupon. As always, if you have old coupons, don't worry; all coupons, even ones from the bygone 50-cent price, will be honored.

Go after 5 pm
If you can wait until after 5 pm to head out to the fair, you can save a good chunk of change as everyone pays child’s prices once the clock strikes five. The deal is good any day of the fair. No promo codes are needed — the discount is automatically applied at the gate and online.

Opening day deals
The half-price deal on opening day continues: Anyone who brings two jars of peanut butter to donate to the North Texas Food Bank will receive $10 admission at the gate.

Military/First Responders Appreciation
All active military, retired military, and veterans, as well as active and retired public law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency services agencies, can save $5 off on weekdays (Monday-Friday) and $7 off on weekends (Saturday-Sunday) when they present valid documentation of service at the gate or online. Spouses of service men and women with a valid Military Spouse ID and accompanying children under the age of 18 also receive discounted admission. First responders receive up to three discounted admission tickets for their family members.

McDonald's coupons
The next time you eat at Mickey D's, make sure to check your tray liner or bag for State Fair coupons. You'll find ones for $5 off on weekdays (Monday-Friday) and $7 off on weekends (Saturday-Sunday.) All coupons are only good for tickets purchased at the gate and cannot be combined with any other offer.

Dr Pepper Value Days
Visitors can purchase their admission ticket online for a reduced price of only $10 on Dr Pepper Value Days, every Tuesday and Thursday. Fairgoers must be a Big Tex Insider to receive the promotion code; you can sign up now at BigTex.com/Insider. (Or — psst — you can use the code 22Culture to get the same deal on Tuesdays only; general admission tickets go on sale on September 12.)

North Texas Food Bank Wednesdays
One of the best deals continues to be North Texas Food Bank Wednesdays. By bringing five canned food items, fairgoers will receive admission for only $5. All canned donations go to the North Texas Food Bank, which helps feed members of the community.

Senior steal
Guests age 60 and over had it made in the shade in past years, as they were able get a discount ticket every day. That deal is now gone, but they'll still have Senior Days every Thursday, when they can get in for just $5.

Thrifty Thursdays
Guests can save while snacking during Thrifty Thursdays, where participating food vendors offer one of their signature menu items at a reduced price, ranging from mini versions to regular-size items.

Fletcher's Corny Dog Fridays
In celebration of their 80th Anniversary, Fletcher's Original Corny Dogs will give away 80 Corny Dogs to the first 80 customers in line every Friday (starting Opening Day) throughout the run of the State Fair at all seven of Fletcher's locations. The Fletcher's stand in Big Tex Circle is their most visited stand, so for the best chance at a free corny dog, go to any of their other Fair locations.

Discounts on Midway rides
Designated as Thrilling Tuesdays, that day of the week is a great time to go to the fair. Not only can you get your $10 Dr Pepper (or CultureMap) ticket, you can save more inside, when most rides are offered at a reduced price.

Courtesy photo

2022 State Fair of Texas concert headliners include Ashanti and more

State Fair News

The annual State Fair of Texas has locked in 2022 concert lineup, and it's music every day with acts that include Ashanti, Trace Adkins, and the Vandoliers.

This year's fair runs from September 30 through October 23, and will feature every genre of live music, from country to R&B to Norteño to electro-pop.

Of the more than 90 performers this year, 74 artists featured across the three live music stages, including four headlining acts, hail from Texas.

The Chevrolet Main Stage
Featuring headlining and regional acts, this is the big outdoor venue with a festival-type stage and experience, located next to the Craft Pavilion, near the Hall of State.

September 30
Trace Adkins takes the stage on Friday, September 30 at 8:30 pm. Adkins has sold more than 11 million albums and charted more than 37 singles, received multiple Grammy nominations, and won several ACM and CMT awards.

October 1
Ashanti starts the celebrations for the State Fair Classic, performing on Saturday, October 1 at 4 pm. This Grmmy winner is the first female artist to occupy two positions on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has sold nearly 15 million records worldwide.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band brings traditional New Orleans jazz on Saturday, October 1 at 8:30 pm. Named after Preservation Hall in the French Quarter, the band was formed by tuba player Allan Jaffe in 1961. After Jaffe passed in 1987, the band continued to tour, aiming to nurture and perpetuate the art of New Orleans jazz.

October 2
La Fiera de Ojinaga performs at 8:30 pm, combining the best components of norteño with saxophone. La Fiera de Ojinaga released their debut album in 2013 and were one of the first groups to release their music digitally. The song "Imposible y Prohibido" has become one of the most viewed videos on the official Azteca Music Group channel on YouTube.

October 4
The Chris Pérez Band rocks fairgoers on October 4 at 8:30 pm. Fronted by Grammy award-winning guitarist, songwriter, and best-selling author Chris Pérez, the group is a Latin rock band infused with English and Spanish roots who won a Grammy for their album Resurrection. Pérez dedicated his crossover hit song "Best I Can" to his wife, the late Latin superstar, Selena, who performed at the Fair in 1994.

October 5
Kraig Parker with the Royal Tribute Band and Orchestra gives two shows at 5:30 and 8:30 pm. This is the ultimate tribute to Elvis Presley in concert, starring this international award-winning artist who has sold out venues worldwide.

October 6
Mystery guest. Oooh there's a special mystery guest performing at 5:30 and 8:30 pm. Follow the Fair on social media and sign up to be a Big Tex Insider at BigTex.com/Insider to be the first to know who it is.

October 7
The Vandoliers bring their signature mix of red dirt country, rock, and Tejano to the Main Stage, playing at 5:30 and 8:30 pm. Hailing from Texas, the group started recording in 2015 and have released three albums.

October 8
Jamestown Revival takes the stage at 8:30 pm. Childhood friends-turned-folk duo Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay released their debut album, Utah, in 2014. Are they from Utah? No. They're from Texas. Since their debut, they have been featured in Rolling Stone magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and performed at major festivals across the country. Their new album, Young Man, was recorded in Fort Worth.

October 9
Lucinda Williams will showcase her poetic singer-songwriter blues sound at 8:30 pm. Her 1998 album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road was a seminal work that helped her pave her own path in the music industry, with more than 14 albums under her belt, including a new album Good Souls, Better Angels in 2021.

October 10
Le Freak will groove with two shows at 3 and 5:30 pm. A tribute act that puts the fun in funk, Le Freak thrills fans with their retro gear and their covers of 70s and 80s disco hits.

October 14
Jason Boland & The Stragglers play the Chevy Main Stage at 8:30 pm. They've toured the world as leading ambassadors for red dirt music for 20 years, have 10 albums and more than 500,000 records sold.

October 15
Fitz & The Tantrums will light up the Chevy Main Stage at 8:30 pm, the first time this indie-pop band has played the State Fair. Their major label debut More Than Just a Dream featured back-to-back Platinum-certified #1 Alternative Radio singles with "The Walker" and "Out of My League," and they've performed on ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC's Today and more national shows.

October 16
Night Ranger rocks the stage at 8:30 pm. Popular 80s hard rock band is best known for "Sister Christian," which peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. They've sold more than 17 million albums worldwide.

October 21
Girl Named Tom hits the stage at 8:30 pm. Sibling trio was established in 2019, with all three siblings harmonizing to a variety of material including acoustic pop, singer-songwriter, and more. In 2021, the group competed and won NBC's The Voice, making history as the first trio to win.

October 22
Resurrection: A Journey Tribute performs their '80s throwback at 5:30 and 8:30 pm. This tribute act recreates the experience of a Journey concert during the 80s, and has performing everywhere from AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, to Royal Caribbean International cruises.

October 23
La Mafia closes out the Fair music series with a show at 3 pm. With roots in the Northside neighborhood of Houston, La Mafia is known worldwide for its pop grupero style, combining the influences of Spanish music with English rock and pop music. The group has won five Grammy awards, winning Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance two years in a row in 1997 and 1998.

The Lone Star Music Series
Launched in 2019, this series aims to showcase the Texas-sized talent we have right here in our local area. Regional acts performing on the Chevrolet Main Stage this year will Brave Combo, The Powell Brothers, Peterson Brothers Band, Trevor Douglas, Rob Roy Parnell, Squeezebox Bandits, Beatlegras, Taylor Young Band, The 40 Acre Mule, Clay Melton, Retrophonics, Rathmore, Hannah Kirby, Ron Lawrence & Sazarac Jazz, No Rehearsal, and John Christopher Davis. Joining the regional acts on the Main Stage, Chevy House Party will feature a variety of popular local DJs, spinning some tunes to get the party started.

The Bud Light Stage
Located centrally in Cotton Bowl Plaza, this stage showcase local and regional talent all 24 days of the Fair, just steps away from all your fried food favorites. Notable acts include Joshua Ray Walker on Opening Day, September 30, fresh from an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” The first and only all-female mariachi band, Mariachi Rosas Divinas showcase their heartfelt style of mariachi on Sunday, October 2. Bree & The Fellas, a Dallas-based jazz and R&B group who will bring their smooth groove to the stage on October 21.

The Yuengling Stage
Located outside the Go Texan Pavilion, the Yuengling Stage features a Friday night comedy series, titled “Deep Fried Comedy,” along with live music throughout the week. Get ready to groove with Texan EJ Mathews on October 1. Take a trip back to early Nashville with Simon Flory on October 8. Having played together for more than 10 years, Dallas Asian Strings will serenade fairgoers with their extensive repertoire on October 12, and Claire Morales will rock the stage on October 22.

Season passes are now on sale at BigTex.com/Tickets.

Delaware North

Globe Life Field in Arlington debuts 3 new food stands for 2022 season

Ballpark News

Baseball season is back and so is a new lineup of ballpark food being served at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

The Texas Rangers and foodservice and retail partner Delaware North are not only debuting new specialty food items, but this year they have three new hospitality spaces for you to eat and drink at.

New venues
Three new venues include a pop-up spot and a cocktail loungey place, as follows:

  • Arlington Eats. Located near Section 101, this will feature pop-up outposts of local restaurants during weekend games and select events. Arlington’s Hurtado Barbecue Co. will be the featured concept for the first two games, followed by Ella B’s Restaurant on April 15-17, and Prince Lebanese Grill on April 29-31. Hurtado Barbecue will return May 13-15.
  • 421 Food Hall. Located on the upper concourse near Section 225, this space features buffet-style dining with a mix of open seating at picnic and high-top tables, along with an exclusive lounge for season ticket holders. It's named for the Rangers' first game in Arlington on April 21, 1972.
  • The High Ball bar. Adjacent to the 421 Food Hall, it will serve specialty cocktails and beer and is accessible to fans near Section 223. The release says it features a "cocktail lounge vibe," with couches, lounge chairs, side chairs, and a mix high-top and traditional tables. Got all your seating options, yes it does.

Food items
In a statement, Casey Rapp, Delaware North's inimitable general manager at the ballpark, says their culinary team "has been hard at work this offseason, creating a fun mix of new items for the 2022 season that feature creative twists on fan-favorites – with a range of regional flavors and products."

New food items include:

  • Alligator Corn Dog: Alligator Andouille sausage in corn dog batter, available at the Bullpen Grill at Section 125.
  • Chicken Fried Brisket Sandwich: Nolan Ryan brisket, smoked in-house, battered, and fried, then piled on Texas Toast with pickles, red onions and Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, available at the Sweet Baby Ray's stand at Section 125.
  • Brisket Egg Rolls: Created by a Rangers fan in 2020 as part of a recipe contest, with shredded brisket and Napa cabbage, rolled in an eggroll wrap and fried. Served with Togarashi-seasoned fries and Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce. Available at the Go Deep Fried stands at Sections 121, 225, and 230.
  • Vegan Bratwurst: Impossible vegan bratwurst served on a vegan roll with grilled onions. Available at the Vegan Cart at Section 101.
  • Vegan Chicken Salad: Classic salad sandwich, with vegan chicken. Served with Terra Chips and sliced vegan bread. Available at the concession locations at Sections 101 and 205.
  • Golden Chick Loaded Fries: Golden Chick battered fries topped with Ricos Nacho Cheese, bacon bits, and Ricos Jalapenos. Available at the Golden Chick stand at Section 128.
  • Mac and Cheese Nachos: Tostitos tortilla chips with Ricos Cheese Sauce, mac & cheese, pico de gallo, Ricos Jalapenos, and sour cream. Available at concession stands at Sections 106 and 225.
  • Cornbread Chili Pie Dog: Texas chili Angus beef hot dog with cornbread subbing in for the bun, topped with Texas Chili chili, cheddar cheese, and Ricos Jalapenos. Available at concessions stands at Sections 132 and 225.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

The Tastemaker Awards toast the best in Texas dining for 2023

A taste of Texas

It’s another one for CultureMap’s history books. The 2023 Tastemaker Awards, which recognized Texas' best chefs, restaurants, and more culinary superstars of the year, have finally come to a close.

The series kicked off April 13 with our sold-out Houston Tastemaker Award at Silver Street Studios, then we came home to Fort Worth, to the 4 Eleven, for our second annual event, April 27. The Texas culinary tour steered us over to Dallas' Fashion Industry Gallery on May 4. From there, we took a drive to the Hill Country for Austin’s evening festivities at Fair Market on May 11, then concluded our journey with our second-ever fête in San Antonio on May 18.

The 2023 Tastemaker Awards honor the state’s most innovative culinary pioneers, allowing nominated chefs and restaurants to showcase their talents for guests before announcing the winners during a live ceremony.

Guests sampled chefs’ specialty bites and imbibed a variety of creative cocktails or mocktails, with a few Topo Chicos sprinkled in throughout the evening. But as always, our nominees and winners are the main focus of our program and are the reason we can bring these celebrations to life.

While a panel of local food and beverage pros choses a majority of the winners, the winner of Best New Restaurant is determined by our readers in an online, bracket-style tournament. New this year in each city, a sizzling on-site Burger Throwdown sponsored by Goodstock Beef by Nolan Ryan.

Without further ado, let’s meet our 2023 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards winners, listed by city:

Fort Worth:

  • Restaurant of the Year: Fitzgerald
  • Chef of the Year: Juan Ramón Cárdenas, Don Artemio
  • Bar of the Year: Birdie’s Social Club
  • Best New Restaurant: Calisience
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Angel Fuentes, Guapo Taco
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Cafe Bella
  • Best Burger: Dayne’s Craft Barbecue
  • Best Brewery: Martin House Brewing Company


  • Restaurant of the Year: Shoyo
  • Chef of the Year: Junior Borges, Meridian
  • Bar of the Year: Lounge Here
  • Best New Restaurant: Quarter Acre
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Mike Matis, Fearing’s
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Maricsa Trejo, La Casita Bakeshop
  • Bartender of the Year: Haley Merritt, Midnight Rambler
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: El Rincon del Maiz
  • Wine Program of the Year: Pappas Bros.
  • Best Burger: Wulf Burger
  • Brewery of the Year: Manhattan Project Beer Co.


CultureMap Fort Worth Tastemaker Awards 2023
Photo by Ashley Gongora

The ants garnishing Guapo Taco's chips were the talk of the Fort Worth event.

  • Restaurant of the Year: Bludorn
  • Chef of the Year: Mark Clayton, Squable
  • Bar of the Year: Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar and Spirit Lounge
  • Best New Restaurant: Aiko
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Emmanuel Chavez, Tatemó
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Shawn Gawle, Goodnight Hospitality
  • Bartender of the Year: Kristine Nguyen, Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Craft Pita
  • Wine Program of the Year: Nancy’s Hustle
  • Best Pop-Up: Khói Barbecue
  • Best Burger: Burger Bodega


  • Restaurant of the Year: Birdie’s
  • Chef of the Year: Amanda Turner, Olamaie
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Joaquin Ceballos, Este
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Mariela Camacho, Comadre Panadería
  • Bar of the Year: Nickel City
  • Bartender of the Year: Erin Ashford, Olamaie
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Nixta Taqueria
  • Wine Program of the Year: Bufalina
  • Brewery of the Year: Lazarus Brewing Co.
  • Best Burger: Dai Due
  • Best New Restaurant: Maie Day

San Antonio:

  • Restaurant of the Year: Carriqui
  • Chef of the Year: Robbie Nowlin, Allora, Arrosta
  • Bar of the Year: Amor Eterno
  • Brewery of the Year: Künstler Brewing
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: The Magpie
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Sofia Tejeda, Hotel Emma
  • Best Burger: Last Place Burger
  • Best New Restaurant: Reese Bros BBQ

These are the 5 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week

This week in gluttony

Doughnuts, burgers, and whiskey – oh my! A sweet collaboration happens this Friday night. Also plan for a summer afternoon tea, a complimentary wine tasting, museum happy hour, and a hysterical wine tasting event themed after a hit comedy.

Thursday, June 1

Crimson Wine Tasting at Neighbor’s House Grocery
The boutique downtown grocer and eatery hosts complimentary wine tasting for sipping and shopping. Guests will get to try four different wines from Napa’s Crimson Wine Group. Drop by anytime from 4:30-6:30 pm.

Friday, June 2

Kimbell Happy Hour
Friday means it’s time for the Kimbell Art Museum’s weekend happy hour. Visit from 5-7 pm for beverages and bites, along with live music by the Allegro Guitar Society. Members will receive 10 percent off drinks.

Doughnut-Burger Collaboration at Whiskey Ranch
Whiskey Ranch does National Doughnut Day with a sweet and savory collab featuring three Fort Worth favorites: TX Whiskey, FunkyTown Donuts, and JD’s Hamburgers. The $35 ticket includes three different TX cocktails paired with gourmet mini doughnuts, including a bacon burger doughnut slider by JD’s. Cocktails include Blackberry Sour, Pecan Old Fashioned, and Parker County Peach TX Whiskey Tea. There’ll also be DJ music and a build-your-own-doughnut hole sundae bar. The event will run from 6-9 pm.

Saturday, June 3

Catalina Canned Wine Mixer at Truck Yard Alliance
Truck Yard in Alliance is throwing a “bro-down” party themed after the 2008 hit movie Step Brothers. Wear your best tuxedo t-shirt for a wine tasting, photo ops, food trucks, and a Step Brothers cover band. Admission is free, but a $15 wine tasting is offered from 7-9 pm, featuring six wine samples and a souvenir glass filled with frose. Costume contests will be held at 5 pm and 10 pm.

Sunday, June 4

Summer Afternoon Tea at Indulge
The downtown cooking studio and tea room will host a Sunday afternoon summer tea party. Enjoy three courses including chicken tarragon sandwiches, roasted vegetable phyllo cups, and street corn crostinis, along with scones with clotted cream and jam, cream puffs, madeleines, and shortbread cookies. Tea choices include black or herbal blend. The tea service is $65 and begins at 2 pm.