DALLAS — The winner of the annual State Fair of Texas fried food competition is a familiar face.
It's the fifth time Chef Abel Gonzales has wowed the judges with his mouth-watering concoctions.
This year's Big Tex Choice Award for "Best Taste" is Deep Fried Jambalaya, which is described as a Cajun combination of shrimp, sausage and seasonings coated in seasoned flour and "fried to golden perfection." It's served with a side of spicy ranch sauce.
"I believe it's a match made in heaven. It's spicy, just like the State Fair," Gonzales said Monday after a panel of judges selected the winning entry.
Previously, Gonzales won awards for his Fried Butter, Fried Coke, Fried Cookie Dough and Fried Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sandwich.
He said he gained 20 pounds while perfecting the Fried Jambalaya recipe for this year's grueling competition.
The 2012 "Most Creative" award in the Big Tex Choice competition is Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll, which features the familiar pastry dipped in a "special sweet pancake batter," rolled in crumbled fried bacon, deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
The two winners emerged from an array of eight finalists, which included Deep-Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, Chicken Fried Cactus Bites and Picnic on a Stick.
But really, there are no losers —especially if you factor in your waistline.
The State Fair of Texas opens its three-week run on September 28.