Local Finalist Competes in Search for Texas Best

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Six local food artisans have been named as finalists in the H-E-B Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best search for new Lone Star State products. “Choosing from nearly 600 entries was no easy task,” said Reade Ahrens, H-E-B Group Vice President of Grocery Procurement and Merchandising. “We are down to the final 25 and are pleased to welcome them to the final judging for the opportunity to win substantial prize money.”

Contest entries came from around the state after the Quest for Texas Best competition launched in February. The finalists include six product makers from the Houston area; five from the San Antonio area; four from the Dallas area; two each from Austin, the Rio Grande Valley and Waco; and one each from Beaumont, Victoria, Willis and Waxahachie.

The six from the Houston area include:

Michael Briggs’ Briggs True line of sauces and rubs (Houston)
His flavors include Texas Seasoning and Rub, Cajun Seasoning and Rub and Chili Mix Seasoning suitable for chefs of all skill levels.

Chef DeeDee Coleman’s DEElicious Red Velvet Waffle Batter (Houston)
This tribute to the popular flavor translates perfectly from cupcakes to waffles paring nicely with fried chicken or as dessert.

George and Rubie Huerta’s Huerta’s Texas Gumbo (Houston)
The two combine their love of traditional Mexican cuisine with the history and spice of Cajun cuisine to create Huerta’s Texas Gumbo.

Dwayne LeJune’s Armadillo Eggs from Western Grillers (Friendswood)
Sure to be a new Texas tradition, varieties include chicken stuffed in a jalapeño and wrapped in bacon or stuffed jalapeños loaded with delicious tastes of the Southwest.

Brenda Powell’s Savannah Rose Punch (Humble)
This refreshing drink mixes citrus and tea for a delightful and easy to prepare beverage for everyday or special occasions.

Nolan Stillwell’s Sweet Heat Jam Company (Katy)
Stillwell balances sweet and spice to serve up a variety of jams like Sweet Heat Original and Strawberry Jalapeño that use ingredients from across the state.

During the deciding round August 19 and 20 at the Houston Food Bank, a panel of expert judges will interview the makers of the finalist products to weigh their potential as retail suppliers. In the process, they will examine each item’s quality, marketability and readiness for production.

Four winners will receive cash prizes and consideration for coveted space on H-E-B shelves in 2015. The $25,000 Grand Prize carries an additional accolade: That winner will be named a “Texas Best” Primo Pick. A first-place winner will receive $20,000, with $15,000 awarded for second place and $10,000 for third place.

The Quest for Texas Best competition is a project of H-E-B Primo Picks, a 2-year old statewide program. H-E-B Primo Picks invites customers to enjoy products that are unique, delicious and possibly new to their palates. Primo Picks selections represent the best of what is in stores, such as H-E-B MooTopia®, H-E-B Queso Poblano Chicken Sausage and H-E-B That Green Sauce.

H-E-B, with sales of more than $20 billion, operates more than 350 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrated its 105th anniversary in 2010. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience at everyday low prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs more than 80,000 Partners and serves millions of customers in more than 150 communities. For more information, visit www.heb.com.

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