Best New Iowa State Fair Food Is Rib Shack’s Finisher

Well, Iowa, thank you for waiting. The winner of People’s Choice Best New Food at the 2022 Iowa State Fair is Finisher.

Filled with baked potatoes, this indulgent dish is created by Joni Bell and can be purchased at The Rib Shack behind the Ann & Bill Riley stage. For $10, this behemoth features baked potatoes topped with shredded brisket, smoked pulled pork, The Rib Shack’s famous bacon brisket mac and cheese, barbecue sour cream and garlic rub butter.

When asked if she was surprised by the win, Bell said.

“We’re trying to figure out what we have available in every product in this trailer… (without needing to) incorporate new things besides simple things. And that Potatoes made a great base for it. Do you like potatoes?”

The competition was fierce again this year. Ahead of the 2022 festival, 53 new fair foods have been announced. Fair staff narrowed the list of nominations to the top 10 foods. From there, a panel of judges tasted all 10 and chose the top 3.

Finishers included the OMG Chicken Sandwich, a battered chicken breast covered in cornflakes on a Krispy Kreme donut, and the Pork Picnic with BBQ Pulled Pork, Baked Beans, Creamy Cole Slaw, and drizzled in a cup. BBQ sauce with brown sugar pork belly.

Fair attendees were able to vote online for the People’s Choice Best New Food from the first day of the fair through August 15th.

The Iowa State Fair Commission will award Best New Food to The Finisher's Rib Shack at the Iowa State Fair on Wednesday, August 17, 2022.

On Wednesday, members of the Board of Directors of the State Fair presented Bell with the first place trophy and honors at the Rib Shack trailer.

After accepting the award, Bell thanked his fans: “Obviously, we have a huge following and everyone who comes here knows that we maintain good value for everyone. I appreciate what you’re trying to do, we’re building everything from scratch, what does my team do here?”

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