The ninth annual King of the Wing competition drew 42 teams to Magens Bay Beach on Saturday to battle for for a year’s worth of bragging rights.
Thousands of wing lovers showed up for the spectacle. The car lots were jammed, inspiring some very creative parking jobs. As the poultry fans found spots and wandered into the south end of the beach, tents sheltered the cooks from the sun and kept the drinks icy cold. Corona Beer and Captain Morgan were the beverage sponsors. They were joined by Island Wiring, Alpine Securities and the White Bay Group to bring the fundraiser to life, benefiting Junior Achievement of the Virgin Islands.
The atmosphere was festive, with non-stop music by D.J.s Smoke, Dundee and Deli Banger. Well-spiced aromas came from all directions, luring folks to wings of all description. Korean wings were a big seller, even without any reference to the upcoming summit meeting.
All the regulars, including Caribbean Saloon and The St. Thomas Restaurant Group, were in attendance.
But, it was also an opportunity to get the word out about up and comers like St. John’s Lucky Chops and Redhook’s Thali India. Chef Taj of Buddha Sushi added his own flair to his offerings. Suga Momma’s Bakery offered wings done in a red velvet sauce and used the event to tell people about their new location at Al Cohen’s Mall on Raphune Hill.
My Brother’s Workshop Bakery brought nine of their group to cook and serve their very special wings. Led by Café managers Danielle Berry and Julius Jackson, MBWB displayed its skills at feeding a crowd. This is the non-profit organization which offers a program for “at risk” youth, offering psychological support and work training for young people to get them on the right path. This is the same bakery that, after the storms, closed down its retail store on Back Street and remade it into a feeding center, where they distributed more than 37,000 free meals to victims of the hurricanes in three months.
“This event is an opportunity to show the community what these young people can accomplish with the right recipe of understanding and training,” Julius Jackson said. “We’ve put more than 450 kids through our program and they continue to reward us with their progress.”
Not all were commercial enterprises. Wolfgang Vincent has entered the competition for the last four years. In that time he has had a first and a second place. He makes his own sauces and rubs and does so “just for the joy of seeing their faces when they get the first taste.”
At 5 p.m. the band wound down and the announcements were made. TV food personality Alan Richman, who served as the guest judge, got up on stage to give out the news that International Capital & Management Company is this year’s King of the Wing. In the hotly contested restaurant division, My Brother’s Workshop Bakery took the crown, while the Caribbean Saloon and Sugar Mama’s Bakery followed with a second and third respectively.The crowd cheered along with the 41 other entrants. As in the past, there were only winners on that beach.