Big Tex Concessionaires Star on A&E Series “Deep Fried Dynasty”

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Big Tex concessionaires
Photo courtesy A&E

Big Tex concessionaires star in a new A&E TV series “Deep Fried Dynasty.” The first show airs at 8 p.m. March 8, followed by back-to-back episodes. The series was filmed at the State Fair of Texas (aka the Fried Food Capital of Texas) in 2021.

“Deep Fried Dynasty” profiles some of the big personalities behind the mouthwatering food at the State Fair of Texas. The concessionaires only have 24 days to turn deep fried delicacies into major profits. Their creations range from Deep Fried Butter to Crispy Crazy Corn, Toffee Coffee Crunch Cake, and Fried S’Mores. The series takes an inside look at how these imaginative foods come to life and the millions of dollars at stake for these family-run small businesses.

With millions of fairgoers making their way through the gates, each team is on a mission to stand out and rake in profits to meet their annual goal. It’s the American Dream – deep-fried, chocolate-covered, and wrapped in bacon.

State Fair of Texas Vendors

“I am most excited for people to learn about the State Fair of Texas and our team, our relationship with our vendors, and what it entails for us to work together and make this annual event a success,” said Melanie Linnear, State Fair of Texas vice president of food and beverage. “I hope folks enjoy watching the inner-workings of the Fair that draw people together from all walks of life, year after year. I also want people see that the old, negative carnival ideologies aren’t reflective of what being a Fair vendor is actually like – It takes real grit and entrepreneurial skills to succeed at an event of this caliber. Our concessionaires are both culinary and business geniuses.”

Big Tex concessionaires
Abel Gonzales photo courtesy A&E

“Deep Fried Dynasty” Cast: Brett “Juicy” Enright, whose Juicy’s stands travel to fairs across the country.He has three SFOT booths, and specializes in Mexican Loaded Fries and other innovative dishes.

Christi Erpillo and Johnna McKee operate Fernie’s Funnel Cakes, the first stand to bring funnel cakes to the Fair. Their expanded footprint features five booths, and includes 2021 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalist Fernie’s Deep Fried Toffee Coffee Crunch Cake.

Big Tex Choice Awards

Abel “Fried Jesus” Gonzales, creator of Fried Butter and many other unique concoctions, is a five-time Big Tex Choice Award winner and operates two Vandalay Industries booths at the Fair.

Big Tex concessionaires
Photo courtesy A&E

Chef Cassy Jones operates Chef Cassy’s Creations, selling her signature Deep Fried Collard Greens, Fried Alligator Eggs Nest, and Honey Pecan Chicken Wings.

Tammi Jo Nevins-Mayes and Josie Mayes, second and third generation concessionaires for Nevins Concessions nine booths, selling Fair foods like cheeseburgers and corn dogs, plus their new Meat-on-a-Stick” booth.

Deep Fried Dynasty

Clint and Gretchen Probst operate two booths, Gulf Coast Grill and Crazy Otto’s, selling their 2021 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalist Deep Fried I-35 (a brisket and peaches dish inspired by a road trip down Texas’ main highway), and many others.

Big Tex concessionaires
Gulf Coast Grill owners photo courtesy A&E

Brent and Juan Reaves are brothers with four booths at the Fair, started by their father, “Smokey” John Reaves, the brothers operate “Smokey John’s BBQ” booths. With partner Ruth’s Tamales they created two 2021 Big Tex Choice Award Finalists, Crispy Crazy Corn and Brisket Brittle.

Rick and Tammy Stiffler own nine booths at the Fair, including “Stiffler’s Sweet Spot” and “Stiffler’s Mom’s Cookie Factory.” Their specialties include Fried S’Mores, Fried Oreos, Fried Pumpkin Pie, and Fried Snickers.

Viewers can get their Fair food fix with back-to-back episodes every Tuesday at 9 p.m. CT on A&E. The series is also available on-demand for streaming on the A&E app and aetv.com. See these concessionaires in action during the 2022 State Fair of Texas September 30 through October 23 in historic Fair Park.

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