Manchester University
Oak Leaves

May 12, 2017

hot wings

Hot wing Cookoff Adds Flavor to May Day Weekend Festivities

Kelleen Cullison 

The chilly wind and weather may have sent the Barbecue Hot Wing Cookoff inside, but it didn’t cool off the competition on Friday, May 5. 

Originally scheduled to be held on the JYSC parking lot, the cookoff moved inside to Haist Commons and carried out festivities the same as they could manage. Three teams competed: Tri Lamb, Chartwells Pirates and Chef. 

“We work for catering downstairs, so we’re going against Chef, kind of in a rivalry,” said first-year Sarah Astling of her team, Chartwells Pirates. 

All from the catering services, the Chartwells Pirates also included Erin Grube, Sierra Mitchell, Sharon Miller and of course, head of catering services Lisa Burns. “Chef’s been razzing me,” Burns said. “They make fun of me because I’m the catering lady and I don’t cook!”  

Their station was decked out in pirate gear, from the barrels and rope to the hat Burns wore. “You’re walking the plank today!” Burns called to Chef from across the room. “We call this Chartwell Island!” 

The theme tied in with the chicken they served. “We were inspired by the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie,” Astling said. “This is actually a Caribbean chicken recipe!” 

On the other side of the room toiled returning team Tri Lamb. “We’re in it for tradition,” said senior Ryan Byle of his teammates Nate Hawkins, Myles Curry, Alex Corn and Nathan Wynn. “We’ve got the support, and the flavor to back it up.”  

Corn agreed. “We’re here to make Manchester Cookoff great again!” he said good-naturedly. 

Out in Haist Commons, students were casting their votes for the BBQ victor. 

“Tri Lamb was really friendly when you were in line,” said first-year Maggie Krawczyk. “Everyone else was too worried about presentation.” 

Hannah Osborn, sophomore, said: “I liked the Chartwell’s Pirates choice.” “I liked their salsa. It has a really nice spice.” 

Adri Millican, first year, said: “I liked Chef’s choice because it was the least spicy.”

The results came in at 6:15 p.m., with students still filing in to clean up the wings that were left. Tri Lamb took home the trophy with exactly 70 votes, beating the Chartwells Pirates by three votes and followed by Chef in third place. 

The cookoff crowd was difficult to distinguish. Because of the change in location, many people seemed to consider the wings a part of dinner.  

And indeed, some food critics were in the mix. “I wasn’t that impressed,” said Gavin King. “The quality of the chicken itself wasn’t very good. It was overhyped.” 

Others were less excited with the cookoff simply because it didn’t pertain to them. “The vegetarian option was excellent,” joked senior Michael Himlie. 

Amy Weeks, sophomore, said: “Maybe next year they could offer a vegetarian option, like grilled vegetables, or kabobs. That way vegetarians could try their sauce without, you know, the chicken juices.” 

This year, the annual barbecue cookoff switched to chicken wings instead of ribs to kick off May Day weekend.