By JOHN DeMERS
Today, for the second time in my life, I helped judge the Gold Buckle Foodie Awards organized by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. And for the second time in my life, I decided that jokes built around the word “Lipitor” actually could be funny. I think the drug should sponsor these awards next year.
The Gold Buckles are not your typical Best Chef sweetbreads-pork-belly-caviar drivel. These things cover the world of everything chicken-fried, everything on a stick – and if remotely possible, both. Yes, the foods we tasted are fattening. But many of them are also good to the point of insane. After today, I’m tempted to proclaim: Rodeo, it’s what’s for dinner!
It seemed like a hundred volunteers were involved in organizing, serving and cleaning up after the many, many entries – all of which are foods for sale inside or outside at the rodeo.
Some things were a bit over the top, shall we say – like this version of a cheeseburger. In case you’ve never seen it before, what’s over the top here is chicken-fried bacon.
Those are two sundaes in front. Except these sundaes are layered with pulled pork, mashed potatoes and barbecue sauce.
Of the many food delivery systems on display, few are more practical – or more popular – than the burrito.
Two punkish young guys in shades and black chef’s jackets added a touch of high-end presentation. We know the thing in the middle of this trio was some kind of jambalaya.
Yes, Virginia – or in this case, Yvette – there is such a thing as dessert at the rodeo. And in this case, that means chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick, tasting for all the world like the world’s best ice cream sandwich.
In a food contest, it’s definitely hurry up and wait – especially when you’re a food purveyor waiting for the judges’ decision. With those hats, you’d surely never guess the two guys talking are Italian!
And this, just for the record, is what it looks like when you win. Congrats to Harlon’s Barbecue and all the rest of the winners!