Hudson Valley Restaurants Compete at Wing Wars
It doesn't matter if you're a honey barbecue fan, a hot sauce connoisseur or if you need flavor variety. If you brought an appetite to Hudson Valley Wing Wars on Saturday, you came away satisfied.
Over 1,000 people gathered at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie on Saturday as area restaurants battled for king of the wing bragging rights -- as well as a $5,000 advertising credit at Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley radio properties.
The title of best overall wing in the Hudson Valley went to the Crooked Rooster in Poughkeepsie at the event. The judging panel for best overall wing included the Poughkeepsie Journal's John Barry, Yelp's Jordan Wilkinson and the Culinary Institute of America's David Barry, Scott Swartz and Dave McCue.
The second annual Wing Wars put on by Townsquare featured more wings and more fryers to meet the demand.
"Last year we had the snowstorm and one of the five fryers froze, which caused a backup," said Anthony Verano, live events manager for Townsquare. "This year we have 10 fryers."
Townsquare provided 20,000 wings to the 15 restaurants competing at Wing Wars, allowing the vendors to focus on flavor rather than the pocketbook hit of supplying wings.
"It's great exposure for them and we make it cost effective for them to be part of a community event," Verano said.
Chris Farella, co-owner of Brothers Barbecue in Cornwall, said the business so a big boost in foot traffic after winning the 2015 Wings War's best overall wing title.
"We sold as many wings during the weekends over the summer as we did during the Super Bowl, which is the busiest time of year for wings," Farella said.
He noted that the event gives them access to new potential customers.
"You've got a thousand people tasting your food. When you see people eating your wings and they like it, that's what it's all about," Farella said.
Wing Wars 2016 Awards
Best Overall Wing: The Crooked Rooster
People's Choice Award & Best Blue Cheese: Guavaberry Grill
Most Massive Wing: Shelly's Deli
Most Creative Flavor Combination: Brothers BBQ
Best Dry Rub & DJ Choice Award: Sal's Place
Best Wing Variety: Union Tavern
Most Unique Flavor: Hoboken Eddie's
Best Latin Flavor: Mole Mole
Best Classic Wing and Best Boneless Wing: Mahoney's Irish Pub
Best Mild Wing: Switch Inn
Most Tender Wing: The Derby
Best Naked Wing: Smoky Rock BBQ
Best Asian-Inspired: OCC Cafe
On Fire Award: Handsome Devil