Regional grocer gives out over $90,000 in prizes to Texas’ Best

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AUSTIN, Texas — The Quest for Texas Best is a signature program for H-E-B’s Primo Picks brand. The inception of the contest was in 2014. This was the first year the award ceremony was done in Austin, Texas at the Central Texas Food Bank. Excitement filled the room as the finalists came down the hallway with cowbells ringing.

The elite group of winners of the twenty-five finalists were filled with anticipation and nerves as they waited to hear who would be the next Primo Pick grand prize winner.

Among the finalist were nine entrepreneurs from the Austin area; five from the San Antonio and West Texas areas; two from the Dallas area; eight from Houston and one from the Rio Grande Valley.

According to Jody Hall, H-E-B Director of Global Sourcing, the cow bells are rang when something exciting and amazing happens. He received his bell engraved Keepem Ringing from Mr. Butts himself.

The 2017 H-E-B Primo Picks: Quest For Texas Best Awarded $90,000 to some incredible chefs and business owners from all over the Lone Star State.

Sascha Biesi and Yauss Berenji won the grand prize of $25,000 and featured placement as a Texas Best Primo Pick.

Sascha before hearing the announcement was telling me about her wonderful bakery in Dripping Springs, Skull & Cakebones.

They serve baked goods like Gooey Cinnamon Rolls and savory Chikn Pot Pie. Her entry was a vegan cake made in a jar. Look for it in your nearest H-E-B store.

There was a statistical tie for first place. H-E-B gave the second first place winner a check for $20,000 and said they would order them a trophy. This was a surprise to everyone in the room, including Bridget and Will McCoy with The Texas Pecan Cake Shop in Bertram, Texas. They are known though out the Texas Hill Country for their Texas shaped Lorranines Original pecan cake.

The other first place winner was Chef Dennis and his wife Janel Butterworth out of Houston, Texas with WarPig BBQ. He entered his award-winning sauce to be used for on Butts and Ribs (F.U.B.A.R.).

The second place winner Tamale Addictions Poblano and Muenster Cheese Organic Masa Tamales they left with a check of $15,000. The owners of Tamale Addiction Adrian and Mariana Paredes from Austin, Texas had their teenage daughters with them each stage of the competition.

The third place winner La Familia Cortez Restaurants Mi Tierra Salsa Verde Salsa from San Antonio, Texas left with $10,000.

They were judged and won out of 565 entries from more than 200 towns across the state of Texas.