PLEASANTON, Calif., June 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- "It's as if a Reuben sandwich made sweet, sweet love to a steamroller," said competition judge Jim Gladstone of the Fair's newly crowned SNACKDOWN Grand Champion. The toasty, tasty creation features deep-fried pizza crust, mozzarella cheese, lean pastrami, red onions, sauerkraut, and a special, homemade mustard sauce, all sizzled to perfection in a wood fire oven.
The winning combination was enough to earn Tony Cardinali of Cardinali Family Concessions his second Grand Champion title in two years, and the coveted Championship Belt. Last year, Cardinali's "Spaghetti Ice Cream" took the top prize. Deep-Fried Wood Fired Pizza can be found near the Fair's "C" Building at Cardinali's Wood Fire Pizza stand.
Cardinali also took the award for "Most Creative" entry for his "Deep-Fried, Caramelized Bananas Foster," a deep-fried, frozen banana on a stick, caramelized with brown sugar and topped with caramel rum sauce, marshmallow crème and a cherry. The treat can be found at Cardinali Grill, also located near the "C" Building.
The award for "Best Taste" went to "Cap'n Crunch Shrimp on a Stick with Sweet Sriracha Sauce." Judges raved about the shrimp's crunchy texture and tangy sweetness of the homemade Sriracha Sauce. Don Delahoyde created the winning recipe, which can be purchased at Sharky's Fish Fry, located across from the Fairground's Grandstand entrance.
"Deep-Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly Cheesecake on a Stick with Bubble Gum Frosting" rocked the judges' palates enough to take the award for "Best Theme" ("Rock the Red, White & Blue"). The indulgent, crispy cheesecake treat is topped with light blue frosting and red gumballs for some patriotic pizazz. Jackie Bradbury of Sweet Cheeks, located in the Kids Carnival area, created the confection.
KCBS' "Foodie Chap," Liam Mayclem, hosted the live event on June 19 at the Fairgrounds' Grandstand Stage. The panel of judges included Univision Radio personality Chuy Gomez, Passport magazine food writer and contributing editor Jim Gladstone, Bay Area food, wine and travel blogger Deborah Grossman and the Fair's Facebook contest winner, Jerry Wang, an oral surgeon from Pleasanton.
The Fair's food vendors were all invited to enter the competition earlier this year. Contestants were allowed to enter as many items as they wished and a first-round judging panel chose 13 finalists from the submissions received. Entries were evaluated individually and some contestants had more than one item in the final competition. Judges at the live competition scored each entry on appearance, taste, creativity and theme.
2015 SNACKDOWN Champions & Finalists:
Deep-Fried Wood Fired Pastrami Pizza
Cardinali Wood Fire Pizza
Cap'n Crunch Shrimp on a Stick w/ Sweet Sriracha Sauce
Sharky's Fish Fry
Deep-Fried Caramelized Bananas Foster
Best Theme ("Rock the Red, White & Blue")
Deep Fried PB&J Cheesecake w/ Bubblegum Frosting
Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly on a Stick
The Light Bulb Grill – Located outside "B" Building
Chipotle Shrimp Avocado Bites
Pepe's Mariscos – Amphitheater area
Frosted Flakes Chicken w/ Maple Syrup
& "Koolickle" (Kool-Aid Pickle)
Get Pickled – Action Zone
Peanut Butter and Jelly Fries
Stuffy's Char Broiler – Grandstand area
Pineapple Sriracha Chicken Wings
Wings & Chips – Heritage House area
The Red, White & Blue (Tri-flavor Kettle Corn)
The Klassy Kernel – Red Zone area
Red, White & Blue Baked Potato
Spud Ranch – Action Zone
World's Most Sour Ice Cream
Cardinali Ice Cream – Garden area
To assist in locating specific concessionaires, the Fair is now providing food vendor maps at all information booths, in addition to the "SNACKDOWN Finalist / Champion" signs posted at food stands. For more information, visit www.alamedacountyfair.com.
Look for these and dozens of other great food vendors at the 2015 Alameda County Fair:
Big Bubba's Bad BBQ
BBQ Pork, Chicken & Beef, Tri Tip, Beans, Cole Slaw, Corn on the Cob
Cardinali's Pizza / Grill
Wood Fire Pizza, Deli Sandwiches, Roasted Corn, Salads, Deep-fried Watermelon
Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls & Cinnamon Bread
Funnel Cakes West
Homemade Funnel Cake with Cream & Fruit, Breakfast Funnel Cake
17 different Sierra Nevada beers on tap & Farm-to-Table Menu
Pickle Dog, Drunken Pickle Poppers, Fried Pickle-on-a-Stick
Burgers, Grilled Cheese, Chicken Sandwich, Sausage-on-a-Stick
18" Corn Dog (12" & 16" dogs, too), Hot Dogs & Burgers
Mrs. J's Chocolate Pot
Chocolate-dipped Bananas, Ice Cream Bars & Cheesecake
Mexican Food, Fresh Seafood, Fish Tacos, Fresh Fruit
Planet Popcorn / Planet Crepes
Fresh Popped Flavored Popcorn, Homemade Crepes
Baked Potatoes with every imaginable topping
Sharky's Fish Fry
Fish & Chips, Lobster-on-a-Stick, Fried Veggies, Lobster Fries
The Sleek Greek
Greek Cuisine – Gyros, Salad, Baklava, Spanokopita
Stuffy's Char Broiler
Burgers, Hot Dogs, Salads, Macaroni & Cheese Stuffed Bacon Burger
Deep-fried Sweet Treats: Oreos, Twinkies, Cheesecake, Snickers & More
Alameda County Fair concessionaires offer plenty of healthy options, too! The following vendors are a sampling of those who offer selections that meet the Kaiser Permanente "Healthy Picks" criteria. For more information, visit www.alamedacountyfair.com.
Back Yard Village BBQ
Café Renee Crepes / Planet Popcorn
Cardinali Pizza / Grill
Cardinali Ice Cream
The Sleek Greek
Grilled Chicken, Fish or Veggie Taco
2015 Alameda County Fair Information
Dates: June 17 – July 5 (Open Tuesday – Sunday)
Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily
Carnival Hours: Tues -Thurs, 12 p.m. to closing, Fri-Sun, 11 a.m. to closing
Horse Racing: Thursday through Sunday, June 18 -- 21, June 25 -- 28, and July 2 --5
Big O Tires FREE Concerts: 8 p.m. – 9:15 p.m., nightly. Special effects show with video tribute to local heroes, immediately following concerts.
July 4th: Blues Festival, 1-9 p.m., Fireworks Spectacular featuring a live performance by Members of the Oakland East Bay Symphony, 9:30 p.m., Budweiser Grandstand
- Adults (13-61) -- $12
- Seniors (62+) -- $8
- Kids (6-12) -- $8
- Children under 6 – FREE
Special Days (ALL SPECIAL PRICING ENDS AT 5 P.M.):
- Military Appreciation, FREE Fair admission with valid Military ID – ALL DAY, EVERYDAY
- $2 Tuesdays: June 23 & 30 -- $2 admission, UNTIL 5 P.M.
- Seniors FREE Thursdays (62+) – June 25, & July 2, UNTIL 5 P.M.
- Kids FREE Fridays (12 and under) – June 26, & July 3, UNTIL 5 P.M
- Feed the Need Food Drive & $1 Rides, benefitting Alameda County Food Bank. (Bring 4 non-perishable food items and receive FREE admission & $1 Rides) – June 24, UNTIL 5 P.M.
- Treats for Troops: July 1 (Bring 4 items from donation list and receive FREE admission & $1 Rides) – UNTIL 5 P.M.
- Father's Day: Sunday, June 21 -- Dads with kids get in FREE for the first hour – 11 a.m. UNTIL 12 noon.
Big O Tires Presents - Concert Series Preview:
6/20 – Kutless
6/21 – Tierra
6/23 – The Boys of Summer (Eagles tribute)
6/24 – The Beach Boys
6/25 – Rodney Atkins
6/26 – Tower of Power
6/27 – Con Funk Shun
6/28 – Tanya Tucker
6/30 – Steelin' Dan (Steely Dan tribute)
7/1 – Foghat
7/2 – Kansas
7/3 – Morris Day & The Time
7/4 – Red, White & Blues Festival (1 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
7/5 – Berlin featuring Terri Nunn
The Alameda County Fair is operated by the non-profit Fair Association without any tax funding from the government. It is ranked one of the Top 50 North American Fairs and the 7th largest Fair in California. The Fairgrounds is home to the Oldest One-Mile Race Track in America.
SOURCE Alameda County Fair