By SHERIDAN CYR
Bread for Life volunteers are used to serving food to the public, but visitors at the 12th annual Wing Fest were able to judge for themselves why Southington’s soup kitchen is one of a kind. Volunteers served a few different flavors of wings at the local event.
Soup is just the tip of the iceberg at the Bread for Life kitchen, and that’s why they were so excited to be included at the annual chamber event at Cadillac Ranch. It was an opportunity to showcase their wide-ranging menu.
“This event is just a great way for us to come out and connect to the community,” said BFL executive director Donna Ayer. She thanked Sysco for their generous donation of chicken to BFL, making their presence at Wing Fest possible.
On Monday, Nov. 6, Bread for Life was just one of nine local restaurants competing for the first and second place ribbons at the Chamber of Commerce event. Wings were judge in three categories: hottest, most original, and best overall.
“The idea of Wing Fest is to showcase our local and surrounding towns’ businesses and get the public interacting with them,” said Taylor Crofton, interim executive director of the chamber.
Tickets sold both online and at the door. Proceeds of ticket commissions benefit the Chamber’s continuous efforts to support local businesses.
Businesses are invited by the Chamber to come and showcase a few of their recipes. Blue Plate Tavern, Bread for Life, Chili’s Grill and Bar, David Alan Hospitality Group from Berlin, Giovanni’s Pizzeria, Groggy Frogg, Tavern 42 and the Tipping Chair Tavern were each able to showcase their wings at the event.
“It’s one of the chamber’s biggest community events of the year,” said Crofton. She reported after the event that they met their attendance goal of 400 people.
Dave Allen’s executive chef Keith Chizinski offered two original wing recipes: coconut curry with toasted coconut, and a pumpkin spice flavor with pumpkin seeds.
“These were made from scratch, and we think they are pretty unique flavors,” said Chizinski. He added that there was a great turnout.
A purchase of a ticket to Wing Fest provided one stub for each of the nine restaurants. Attendees could walk around the room, drop a stub into a restaurant’s basket, and sample each of their recipes. At the end of the evening, attendees cast their votes for the three categories.
Groggy Frogg edged Tipping Chair Tavern for the title of “hottest wings,” but Tipping Chair edged Groggy Frogg for the title of “most original.” The coveted “best overall” prize was awarded to Groggy Frog. Tavern 42 was runner up.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.