H-E-B's second Quest for Texas Best contest has come to a conclusion. After two days of tasting, debate and deliberation, a panel of judges whittled down the 25 finalists to a grand prize winner and three runners-up. All earn cash prizes and the chance for a coveted spot on H-E-B's shelves — or in its freezer cases.
Taking this year's grand prize of $25,000 is Austin's TEO Gelato. The frozen treat purveyor serves signature flavors that include Texas pecan and whiskey, peanut butter and Nutella, Poteet strawberry, and Texas Hill Country peach.
Homemade vanilla wafers from a bakery in the tiny town of Slaton (population: 6,121) in northwest Texas took first prize and $20,000. Houston's Blackbird Foods was awarded second place. The farmers market favorite earned $15,000 for its sweet and savory pies in a variety of flavors.
Austin's Blackbird Bakery took home third place and $10,000 for its gluten-free baked goods. The Blackbird line consists of six flour blends from Donut & Fritter to Bread & Pizza.
"The final presentations were a wonderful display of ingenuity and vision," said H-E-B director James Harris in a statement. "Our state is prime territory for smart, inventive food entrepreneurs further solidifying Texas’ national reputation as a foodie state."