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September 03, 2015

More Than a Dozen Chefs from Central New York, Mohawk Valley, The Finger Lakes and Southern Tier Compete in This Sunday’s “Taste NY” Food Truck Competition at the 2015 Great New York State Fair

Fairgoers and Food Experts Judge Some of the State’s Best Food Truck Specialties Made with New York State Grown and Produced Ingredients

The opportunity to enjoy delicious New York food at the “Taste NY” Food Truck Competition is only days away, Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner reminded fairgoers. The competition will feature 13 food trucks from across the state serving their tasty and unique entries to both fairgoers and food judges on Sunday, September 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. around Chevy Court.

The first-ever “Taste NY” Food Truck Competition will feature exceptionally skilled chefs. The competitors, using foods primarily grown and produced in New York State, will be serving up the following:  

  • Sarita's with Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip Empanadas, from Rome.
  • PB&J's Lunch Box with a Grilled PB & J, from Syracuse.
  • Global Taco Truck with the Finger Lakes Taco, which includes lettuce, Riesling chicken, strawberry chardonnay cheddar, grape and husk cherry salsa, from Watkins Glen.
  • Lady Bug Lunch Box with Cajun Chicken, which is saucy and bossy with a kick and includes honey mustard, from Syracuse.
  • Chicken Bandit with Bandit Seasoned Chicken in either a thigh or drumstick with its secret recipe seasoning, from Syracuse.
  • Toss N’ Fire Mobile Wood Fire Pizza with a ‘Cuse Salt Potato Pizza, from Syracuse.
  • The Meatball Truck with Meatball in a Cup, made from meatballs in house marinara, fresh ricotta, fresh basil and grilled focaccia bread, from Rochester.
  • Tortilla Jacks with Mexican Street Corn, made from corn cooked in seasoned water then slathered in a mayonnaise concoction, sprinkled with parmesan cheese, a light dusting of cayenne pepper and served with a lime wedge, from Syracuse.
  • Smokin Pete's Barbecue with American Firecrackers, made from twice-smoked bacon wrapped brisket with jalapenos and caramelized blue cheese, from Rochester.
  • Hofmann Sausage with a Handwich, which features the brand’s famous German brand frank in an artisan roll, from Syracuse.
  • That's What's Up with Spanish Style Paella with peppers, onions, tomatoes, olives, chicken and chorizo sausage, from Syracuse.
  • New York Wine and Culinary Center with the Upstairs Bistro Cuban Sandwich, made from roast turkey, smoked pork belly, house made pickles, gouda cheese, and whole grain mustard aioli on ciabatta, from Canandaigua.
  • Hell Of a Big Bite with Pulled Pork Sliders, from Syracuse.

There will be two competitions.  Fairgoers will pick a favorite in the People’s Choice competition, and can choose their favorite entry by casting their vote at the New York State Fair food truck.  Samples of the competition entree will be available at each truck for $2 per sample. Sampling will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will end with the food trucks participating in the daily parade.

Four judges will also sample and judge each truck’s signature entrée in the Judge’s Choice competition, which will take place in the Chevy Court Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The judging will be done by the following four food experts:

  • Tom Kiernan, who was awarded 2015 Chef of the Year by the Syracuse Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.
  • Chance Bear, Head Chef at Lincklaen House and Organizer of Empire State Feast in NYC. Bear was also awarded 2012 Chef of the Year by the Syracuse Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.
  • Christopher Cesta, Head Chef at the Inn Between. Cesta is the Winner of the 1989 and 2009 Chef of the Year by the Syracuse Chapter of the American Culinary Federation and is the first to ever receive the award twice.
  • Don Cazante, food editor and notable journalist for

The winning entries will be announced by the judges at 7 p.m. The first place prize for People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice is a $750 gift card provided by Maines Food & Party Warehouse. A 3,500 watt portable generator will be awarded to the People’s Choice second place winner. Fairgoers also have a chance to win during the competition.  They can roll a pair of dice at the New York State Fair food truck for a chance to win a Fair-themed prize.

“The ‘Taste NY’ Food Truck Competition is an excellent chance to try diverse and delicious foods that are proudly made using local products. I encourage anyone attending the Fair to come to Chevy Court and try some of the entries in this year’s brand new competition,” said Waffner.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, is going on now through 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.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year to host dozens of agricultural events, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website at

2015 Press Releases