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PUEBLO - Receiving the highest praise and the first-ever Governor's Plate award, the Papa Mario's Grilled Cheese Food Truck was crowned the winner at the Colorado State Fair's inaugural Colorado-sourced food competition. The Governor's Plate winner was the Panfili grilled cheese, prepared with ingredients from Colorado Proud producers, including Musso Farms and Springside Cheese.
"We are thrilled to begin this new tradition, to celebrate our storied agricultural history and our bright future. It was an honor to taste a variety of dishes by Colorado chefs made with Colorado grown ingredients. Congrats to each and every participant for showcasing their best work," said Governor Polis. "Colorado's food scene is on the map thanks to our entrepreneurs, restaurants, and the farms that keep us fed with homegrown world-class food products. Congrats to the inaugural winner!"
Indeed, Papa Mario's Truck swept the awards, also receiving the People's Choice award for the Popper Mario sandwich and the Best Food Truck award for having the most combined number of votes. An honorable mention goes to the Double D's BBQ Shack, which lost by 3 votes in the Best Food Truck category.
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"Colorado's ag industry grows, raises, and produces some of the best and most flavorful ingredients in the country and the chefs who took part in this inaugural competition really put their best foot forward to create a delectable competition," said Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg. "Coloradans care about where their food comes from and this event shows why we make it a priority to buy and use Colorado Proud ingredients available at retailers statewide."
This year's event featured five food trucks from across Colorado competing for awards by using Colorado-sourced ingredients, including the Pueblo chile, in their dishes. Competing food trucks were selected in advance and featured What's Cooking (Pueblo), Double D's BBQ Shack (Pueblo), Papa Mario's Grilled Cheese (Pueblo), Downtown Fingers (Denver), and Eskimo Bros. Nitro Ice Cream (Denver).
The state fairgrounds provide nearly $34 million in economic activity to Colorado throughout the year; $29 million of that activity is driven by the annual State Fair event. In addition to showcasing Colorado agriculture, the annual event features one of the country's largest traveling carnivals, artwork, crafts, food competitions, rodeo action, a wide variety of food and merchandise booths and a Fiesta Day honoring Colorado's Hispanic culture.
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A division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the mission of the Colorado State Fair Authority is to celebrate Colorado's vibrant and diverse industries, with emphasis on agriculture and outcomes, optimizing use of available resources. The theme for this year's State Fair is "All Roads Lead to the Colorado State Fair." The 11-day event will take place in Pueblo from August 27 – September 6, 2021.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture exists to support the state's agriculture industry and serve the people of Colorado through regulation, advocacy and education. Our mission is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture, promote a safe and high-quality food supply, protect consumers, and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources.
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