This past January was once again the epic Battle of the Wings at work - and the competitors really brought their A-games.
Last year's winner was Fitzroy, so he was defending champ. And the other Chef's wanted the win this year.
"Who's Wings Reigns Supreme?" This year it was all up to straight vote - no influence from my choices.
Food and Beverage Manager Glenn was on hand, getting the line-ups of students hyped up and ready to take their vote on wings.
This year the chef's were laid out equally out front, talking smack and promoting their tasty creations.
No matter who got the vote, it was clear that we were the winners with lots of tasty wings, well worth the line-up.
EDDIE'S SWEET SPICY WINGS
- Breaded, deep fried.
- Tossed in a sweet/spicy sauce.
- Squirt with lime wedge, add creamy sauce on the side.
JACO's OLD SCHOOL WINGS
- Dusted, deep fried.
- Tossed in a suicide sauce (7lbs of scotch bonnet peppers for 32 litres of sauce, 8 litres of Frank's Red Hot sauce .
- Enhanced blue cheese dip on the side to cut the heat.
OLIVIA'S QUEST to the ISLAND WINGS
- Marinated in coconut milk, chipotle, lime, salt and pepper and cayenne.
- Rolled in panko, shredded coconut and flour.
- Roasted in oven.
- Island jerk sauce (sweet chili, lime, coconut milk, molases) applied when ready to serve.
FITZROY's GLUTEN FREE MANDARIN ORANGE WINGS
- Wings tossed in white cornmeal and Parmesan cheese.
- Sauce: stewed down mandarin oranges, blended with smokey flavoured BBQ sauce, grenadine, ginger, garlic.
The first in the line up, these wings had so much going for them. First off, deep fried with a nice breading that was crunchy and had an excellent texture. The sauce was more sweet than spicy but was just plain love as far as I was concerned. The added lime gave a great acidity to the sweetness. The cream sauce on the side definitely complimented the whole thing, but was unnecessary in my opinion.
I hate to play favourites, but this was my vote. It just had everything going for it.
These wings had a special place in my heart, because these were a suicide wing. It was a bold move because apparently there are a lot of people out there who can't eat hot. It's 2013 and people still have a hard time eating heat. I was also told by a source that part of Jaco's strategy was to burn people's mouths so they couldn't taste the other sauces. I like that.
I found this to be an excellent suicide wing. It had a lot of heat, but you could still taste the sauce. I wish this was a standard for hot wings. The blue cheese dip on the sauce was doctored up, so it was extra creamy, chunky, and oh so good.
What I really like about Olivia's wings is that she really goes outside the box and delivers something completely different. I mean a coconut and panko coated wing? This is mad scientist realm, and I really dug it. Even though it was baked, it was still crispy. This was a sweet wing, and it reminded me of coconut shrimp, except with chicken and not shrimp.
The Island sauce was also slightly sweet and slightly spicy. It succeeded when added at the last minute as was being done, because I think the wing would have suffered if it had sat in the sauce for a while. This was a wild card wing, and if you don't like coconut or sweetness, this might not be for you. But otherwise, I thought such a really unique idea that flavour-wise, paid off.
Fitzroy was really going the extra mile to try some new ideas. First off, going for a gluten free wing (after talking to students who suffer from gluten allergies) really brought a different dimension to this offering. There was also a ton of preparation that went into these wings.
I enjoyed the wings but felt it suffered from the baked coating that became mush from the very sweet and gooey sauce. I normally prefer my wings tossed, but I think these should have been dipped for better structural integrity. Don't get me wrong, I still had seconds. Maybe even thirds . . .
Here are some of my staff, former staff and my boss all enjoying their wings. Lots of different opinions on what everyone liked, but there was a general concensus: this is an awesome event.
The votes came in, and Eddie's wings were the winner. But really, we the eaters all won.