State Fair food vendors vie for 'Sporkie' trophy

CREATED Jul 29, 2014 - UPDATED: Jul 29, 2014

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WEST ALLIS -- Call it fair food, with a twist.

The Wisconsin State Fair starts this Thursday, but before the gates open, food vendors are vying for the coveted "Sporkie" trophy.

Celebrity judges will sample dishes from the eight Sporkie food competition finalists this afternoon.

Jessica Ellenbecker of Exotic Meat Grill is a finalist. Her entry is a peanut butter bacon bison burger.

“It tastes great,” Ellenbecker said. “I'm hoping it does well with the judges. he kids at home always ask us, which animal are we eating tonight? We don't eat beef in our house. We eat camel, buffalo, and all kinds of things."

Reigning champ, La Coppa Artisan Gelato, is hoping for a repeat. This year's entry: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with gelato.

"It’s absolutely exciting to be in the finals,” exclaims Arthur Sawall, of La Coppa Artisan Gelato. “I mean, 2 years in a row! It just doesn't get any better than that. Obviously we're hoping for the grand championship, like everybody else is hoping for!"

But what if you're in the mood for something deep-fried, topped with maple glaze, powdered sugar and bacon? Look no further than Emma’s Cookie Kitchen.

"Well, we say we make all the cookie dough from scratch, so we take all the calories out!" laughs Erica Prange of Emma’s Cookie Kitchen.

These are just some of the finalists. It'll be up to the panel of judges to name the Grand Champion.