By Christian Rose-Day.
That’s right ladies and gentleboys. You heard it here first. These wings were fucking hot. This was the official confirmation from the Judge, Ashley Letchford, concerning the piquancy of the spicy Buffalo chicken wings that were given to all 31 competitors in the King of the Wing 2011 heats (no pun intended) held last week at Mr Letchford’s pub, The Jam Tree, in Chelsea.
Although King Of The Wing may sound a little biased towards a certain sex, there was most definitely representation from the ladies in this competition, with almost every round containing at least one brave lass; (besides, there’s always potential to hold a flatulence-based contest called Queen of the Bean in the coming months involving bowls of smoking hot Heinz).
The contest was simply: eat as many “fucking hot” chicken wings in 8 minutes as possible, with the top 8 eaters to go through to next week’s final. The prize? Eternal respect for achieving the status of King Of The Wing 2011. That, and a £500 bar tab to spend at The Jam Tree.
Whilst the atmosphere inside The Jam Tree was subdued and filled with civilised conversations, outside on the garden patio there was a huge crowd of hot, baying youngsters from the Chelsea sect - long blonde hair for the ladies, ironic quiffs for the men - egging (no pun intended) other people to vomit on chicken wings.
Round 1: four burly chaps with tats approach the table looking very much like the full line up of an early Metallica incarnation. They were joined by one very skinny young lady. Any doubts about the challenge from the fairer sex were quickly allayed when a member of the crowd was able to enlighten those gathered with the adage about the world record holder in chicken wing eating: a slight lady in the USA - who calls herself The Black Widow - ate 183 in just 12 minutes.
Once the sick buckets were in place and crowd-participation countdown completed, the contest was very much underway. It is understood that one contestant was called Gonad, as there was much cheering for Gonads in the initial phases. Four minutes in, tears began to stream down the female contestant’s face and calls for her to “Swallow the bone” were largely ignored.
In Round 2 the faces taking part were less hirsute and much younger. Again four chaps and a chappette, the latter choosing to limber up for the contest by placing her right foot completely behind her head to garner support. Towards the end of the round, one contestant was caught ‘chipmunking’, a tactic that was frowned upon by the judges. This lead to a bit of afters, with the chipmunker throwing a jug of water over foot-behind-head girl (both pictured above moments before the altercation) for reasons yet to be disclosed.
Round 3 was, for want of a better moniker, the Rambo round, with several contestants choosing to don John Rambo or Samurai style headbands.
Round 4 was the bib round, with most wing-eaters opting for paper tucked into the collar, in conjunction with a popular tactic of ‘Stand & Rip’, which, instead of the orthodox, seated, bone-to-mouth technique, instead applied a standing-only method that involved ripping the flesh from the bone before thrusting it mouthwards.
Round 5: controversy! This round included one Duncan Welch, the MD of Fluid London, who, as a tall Kiwi (a New Zealander, not a flightless bird) is well known for his proclivity towards eating vast amounts. Having seen him consume a double full English breakfast whilst holding a meeting at which everyone else was still working on their croissants, I knew the outlook for Fluid London’s representation in the final was propitious.
And yet Duncan was duped. A draconian decision by the judges saw Duncan’s final tally of chicken wing weight (0.97kgs) reduced by 0.2kgs for a momentary and ineffectual peccadillo during battle, thus taking him from 4th place overall to 9th, losing out on a place in the final by the slenderest of margins. Here is the infringement in question.
Fowl play (pun intended), it may seem! But look again in slow motion. It’s clear to see Duncan is actually attempting to aid his fellow contestant as a passing wasp tries to sting him in the eye.
Duncan was humbled by the judges decision, though, citing that “It’s not the winning, it’s taking part!”; followed swiftly by “we wuz robbed!”
In the ensuing kerfuffle, we completely missed Round 6. However, it was later broadcast that a total of 23.5kgs of wings were eaten by the contestants, with the leading weight (and obvious favourite for the final) from Leo S, with 1.2kgs.
The King of the Wing 2011 final will be held on Thursday 22nd Septmember, 7.30pm at The Jam Tree, make sure you are there to bear witness to the awesomeness.
The calm before the storm.
That has GOT to hurt!