Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
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March 26, 2015

“Taste NY” Food Truck Competition to Premiere at 2015 Great New York State Fair

Competition to Feature as Many as 20 New York State Chefs Making Their Best Mobile Foods

The first-ever Taste NY Food Truck Competition will premiere on Sunday, September 6 at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, Commissioner of Agriculture Richard A. Ball announced today.  This first-of-its-kind competition will see as many as 20 chefs from across the state surrounding Chevy Court with their trucks and offering samples of their most creative and tastiest offerings for fairgoers and judges.

Entrants will be required to use foods primarily grown and produced in New York State.  Judges will sample each truck’s signature entrée to determine a winner of the judged portion of the competition and to rank each competitor.  Fairgoers will also help pick a winner in a separate competition.  Samples of the competition entree will be available at each truck for $2 per sample for fairgoers.  The entrée receiving the most votes from fairgoers, who will receive a ballot with each $2 sample they purchase, will be crowned the People’s Choice winner. 

Each winner will receive a trophy and a gift card for $750 from a New York State food supplier or distributor.  The second place finisher in the People’s Choice category will receive a trophy and a portable 3500-watt generator.

Entries will be accepted until all 20 slots have been filled.  The application form is available only on the Fair website, at  Food trucks will not be serving food to the general public beyond the entrée samples.

The day of competition will conclude with each truck taking part in the Fair’s daily 6:00 p.m. parade.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New York’s food is second to none and this unique competition will delight thousands of people at this year’s Great New York State Fair.  Here in New York, we grow the best and we make the best, and this competition will show that we also cook the best.  Food truck chefs are reinventing street foods as we know it.  This is a great addition to the Fair’s more than 70 competitions that highlight the state’s agricultural diversity.”

The Fair Hits the Road

In the meantime, the Fair will soon roll out a truck of its own.  A mobile vending truck with the Fair logo will spread the word of the Fair at public events around the Central New York region this spring and summer, offering information about advance sale tickets to the Fair along with information about the Fair itself.  At selected events, Acting Director Troy Waffner plans to drive the truck himself so that the Fair’s many fans can give him their suggestions personally.  Fair mascots Pop and Candy will also be on hand at selected events to pose for photos and greet the Fair’s youngest fans.

“We’ve been coming up with a lot of new ideas in recent years to keep the Fair interesting, but I know that our fans also have wonderful ideas and I am looking forward to hearing them,” said State Fair Director Troy Waffner.  “The Fair is less than six months away now, and we’re kicking it into high gear to bring the best in entertainment and agriculture to Central New York this summer.”

Appearances by the truck will be announced as they are confirmed.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 27 – September 7, 2015.  The Fair’s mission, reflected in its theme, “Summer’s Best in Show,” is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment. 

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

2015 Press Releases