Follow Me Foodie to The 1st Annual Chicken Fight Kitsilano!
The winners and recap of Chicken Fight Kistilano 2013.
Sunday, September 1st marked the 1st annual “Chicken Fight” in Kitsilano, Vancouver. Chicken Fight is the brainchild of the Donnelly Group and it originated all the way in Gastown (I know, so far). This year was the 2nd Annual Chicken Fight Gastown at The Lamplighter and the 1st for Kitsilano at The Bimini Public House. Kitsilano chefs competed in a bourbon inspired wing cook-off and one winner was named “Chicken Fight (Kitsilano) Champion”.
The event was open to all (no tickets required) and everyone was treated to chicken wing samples from competing teams. They had beers starting at $4/sleeve, a live DJ, sports on TV, and people serving you wings… what more can you ask for? Sorry, no kale here, but I’m confident there is another place serving it just outside. It was a fun event, the audience got to judge and be part of the experience, and the place was packed.
Vancouver is a community based city so it’s nice to see restaurants come together to battle… chicken. Grilled wings? Deep fried wings? Sous-vide wings? Braised wings? Sweet and spicy? Salty sweet? Spicy and salty? Dry rub? Or saucy? What do you want? The options for chicken wings were endless, well technically they ended after 9 since only 9 restaurants participated, but hopefully more next year. I could eat more wings.
Kitsilano is full of new and long standing restaurants and being outside of downtown it has a warm neighbourhood feel. From college pubs to upscale restaurants and ethnic eateries, some of my favourite Vancouver restaurants can be found in the area. Can you guess?
If you’re a chicken wing and beer fan and you missed this, then don’t worry, I ate your portion. I was honoured to be judging alongside rapper Prevail (on the left) from Swollen Members and hip-hop artist Red1 from the Rascalz.
Prevail is actually quite the “foodie” himself and the way he articulates the taste of a chicken wing is poetry. Red1, who does not look like Snoop Dogg (crazy Aussies… okay well maybe a very long lost cousin of Snoop) has chicken wings probably 1-3 times a week (munchies!), so that counts.
And yes, you are seeing my wine and their beers… but let me redeem myself by saying, I ate the wings with my hands. Anyway, super fun judges!
And the 1st Annual Chicken Fight Kitsilano winners are…
Champion (1st Place) – Chef Ryan Mah of Tractor Foods
2nd Place – Regal Beagle
3rd Place – Browns Social House
Note: Chicken wings were based on taste, texture, originality, presentation and use of bourbon. Each venue prepared a secret recipe in advance and cooked them on-site at The Bimini. Results were based on judges’ and audience scores. These wings were made especially for the Chicken Fight event and may not be available at their restaurants.
The 1st Annual Chicken Fight Kitsilano Chicken Wings…
Hapa Izakaya Kitsilano Chicken Wings
A+ for effort. The Hapa Izakaya team came with custom made “Chicken Fight Kitsilano t-shirts. They had a candle filled with bourbon and lit it upon serving for aromatics. The chicken wings were marinated in sake, soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, garlic and other ingredients. It was obviously Japanese inspired, but the most interesting thing was they had the meat outside of the bone. The only bone was the wing tip which made this “inside-out wing” very easy to eat.
Regal Beagle (2nd Place)
2nd place and well deserved. It was a bourbon gastrique with roasted sweet corn and chicken wing “lollipops”. They butterflied the wings and peeled the skin back and marinated them in peppercorns and chilies. It was quite sweet and spicy with a bit of crispiness on the skin. The bourbon and corn was a fun play, but corn-fed chicken raises that “GMO” red flag… although not all corn is genetically-modified. Regardless, I ate my portion and really enjoyed these. Did I mention they were stuffed with a bit of goat’s cheese too?!
Tractor Foods (Chicken Fight Kitsilano Champions – 1st Place)
To be honest, these were my favourite, so of course I’m happy they won. I think chef used potato starch or cornmeal for the batter and it made for an extra crispy chicken wing. It was a thin crust, the meat came off the bone clean, and it was salty, sweet, aromatic and a bit spicy. It was Asian-inspired, but there was also a red pepper sauce and pickled red onions on the side. I didn’t even need the sauce, but I would order these and eat a dozen easily.
Romer’s Burger Bar Kitsilano
These smelled like doughnuts, no joke! He flambleed some bourbon with sweet spices for aromatics and also flambleed the chicken wings. The flavours were very good, perhaps a touch salty for some, but I liked them.
The Bimini Public House
This was a traditional French style chicken wing. It was crispy with an orange and cherry glaze, but brined a bit long so the saltiest of the bunch. I really liked the idea though and he cooked them in duck fat which was great.
Browns Social House Kitsilano (3rd place)
They had the one and only lady chef in the competition! She went for a barbeque style wing, and although it is apples and oranges to judge a grilled wing to a deep fried one, there is something to be said about a well done grilled wing. I find most people, including myself, prefer a crispy skin but these were pretty impressive. She had chicken meat stuffed with a house made sausage and orange glaze, skewered on top of a saucy chicken wing. It was paired with a peach and bourbon cocktail.