Wednesday, 5 August 2009

London Ribfest 2009 - Chicken Wing Judging

What could be better than ribs at Ribfest?

How about a Chicken Wing Judging?

It's funny because when I first approached the VIP tent for judging, I was wearing my Lord of the Wings t-shirt. The MC for the event saw me and was like "Lord of the Wings? Lord of the Wings? You're at the wrong venue!" But there was wing judging, so I wasn't.

Doug Hillier, the event organizer, told me about the wings before the event. He said he could only do 3 restaurants at the Ribfest, but was hoping to expand that in the future. I'm not sure if he meant expanding at Ribfest, or a 'wingfest' on its own, but I support either!

The competition was simple: rate the wings from the 3 restaurants from 1-10, 1 being terrible, 10 being excellent. I was up to the challenge.

The three restaurants were:

Like the ribs, the wings were brought on a separate plate, one at a time. We were given one wing each to evaluate.

I was full from ribs, but I always have room for wings.

I was not told the names of the restaurants that participated - and when I find out I will post. They each did a deep fried wing, but they were all very different.

I believe they all were supplied with the same chicken, because the wings were all pretty uniform in size and meatiness. So it was going to come down to crispness and sauce.


This was a dry wing. Dusted, deep fried, then seasoned. It was a bit tough, and it might have had a Cajun seasoning, but overall it was pretty week. I know the people near me were not impressed. As for me, I thought it was ok, but pretty dry.
I don't know whose wings these were, but my guess was Dawghouse; they seem like a pub that was trying and it didn't work out.


This drummette was breaded, deep fried and sauced. The texture was terrible. It must have been made up early and sat in the sauce, causing the skin to not be crispy at all. The breading was falling off.

The sauce was sweet. Some sort of BBQ. Nothing really stood out about the sauce.
My guess (again, not knowing the restaurant they came from) is Roxbury - more of a dance club and a bit clueless on good wings.


Classic hot wing. Dusted, deep fried and tossed in a cayenne based hot sauce. Skin was very crispy. The sauce, very spicy, but so good. My winner for sure.

This guy was hanging out near the VIP tent. He was making up one of the wings and took them very seriously. He didn't reveal what restaurant he represented, but he was intent on winning. He assured that he was waiting until the last second to deep fry the wings and sauce them so they wouldn't get soggy.

During the judging he watched intently to see who liked what wings. He spoke to some of my neighbours and was apologizing for making the wings so spicy, but he wanted to make an impact. This suggests to me he made #3. After the all the judging I saw him at the Friday Knight Lights stand, a restaurant in London advertising the "World's Best Wings". Well, I don't know about world's best, but they were a pretty solid wing (if they were #3). I hope to review them sometime.

Rib judging is cool, but wing judging is the best (hey, its what I do). I was too generous with my scoring, but I do try to look for the best in wings. I love London Ribfest.


Teena in Toronto said...

Right up your alley! I'm jealous :)

Chris said...

#2 was breaded? Damn, you can hardly tell. It even looks "ewwwww".

I can't believe you only got one wing from each...they should have given a representative sample. With blue cheese and celery too, of course.

Lord of the Wings said...

Teena - ya it was an exciting addition

Chris - ya, breading mostly fell off. I agree, there should have been more!