Monday, September 03, 2007

Weekend Recap and Thoughts Moving Forward:

This post really isn’t a recap of the weekend’s activities (since I think I’ve already done a pretty decent job of documenting the details in previous posts) but is more a few final thoughts on some recurring themes from the weekend and a note of thanks.

Let’s start with the note of thanks. First of all, oh behalf of both Steve and I, we would like to thank our wives (Kama and Allie) for letting us go on this journey. It was a great “activity” for Steve and I to do together and was pretty much a once in a lifetime opportunity that we really appreciate you letting us capitalize on.

The next note of thanks goes to the Wing King, Drew Cerza. We are very gracious to Drew for inviting us to be involved in many of the activities throughout the weekend – the pre-party for the festival, the wing judging, the channel 7 news interview, and the event itself. It’s evident from meeting Drew in person that he has a true passion for the wing and more importantly has a heart that is in the right place, even though the main focus of the event is to promote the goodness of the buffalo wing, Drew is really using that as a front to provide a venue that allows the people of Buffalo (and all the rest of us outsiders) to gather for two days and simply have some good family friendly fun – and that is truly something that he should be proud of.

The next note of thanks goes out to all of the places where we consumed wings this weekend. There are too many to name, and while we are happy to have gotten to eat your establishment’s prized wings, we’re also pissed at you because our bodies hurt right now and we don’t want to eat any other wings for a long time… :-)

The final note of thanks goes out to a group of devoted wing lovers who gave up 14 days (plus travel plus bodily recuperation time) of their lives to journey from Manhattan to Buffalo on the quest to find the best buffalo wing in the world. Your mental stamina and intestinal fortitude are truly amazing and we were honored to get to share some of the closing moments of the journey with you. And to Matt Reynolds, the leader of the pack, I think you summed things up pretty appropriately on the phone this morning when you said “it’s nice to meet a couple of guys that are so deeply passionate about the wing – but at the same time are actually pretty normal”. The same goes from us to you. Your outward passion for the wing is obvious, but even more impressive to us are a couple of things that we saw in you that might not always get noticed (1) the amount of time and energy that you have poured into envisioning, creating, planning, and coordinating the Great Chicken Wing Hunt is simply amazing and should not go unrecognized, (2) the quality of the individuals that you brought together and level of friendship that you shared with the hunters – even through the tough times - showed that you are a true leader, and finally (3) your composure under pressure and all of the elements that you had to deal with proves that you are in this for all of the right reasons, because somebody that was going through this process to simply make a buck, would have given up a long time ago. It was an extreme pleasure for us to get to know you and again we thank you for welcoming us into your wing team with open arms.

Now to a few of the takeaways from the weekend and we will intentionally keep this short because we will be following up these concepts with more in-depth discussions on this blog over the next couple of weeks.

1. There seems to be a bit of a divide amongst wing enthusiasts that we believe needs to be debated more thoroughly and that is this seemingly simple question - how far can a buffalo wing sauce recipe deviate from the original ingredients and still be considered a “traditional buffalo wing”? Sub-question – novelty/specialty wing flavors, how far is too far, seriously…?

2. Another question worth discussion – the boneless buffalo wing, is it an abomination of everything that is right about the buffalo wing, or a way to strategically spread the influence of the wing to others that may not be likely candidates to consume real wings”? Sub-question – do people that are introduced to boneless buffalo wings eventually graduate into consuming real wings, or do they simply stay boneless wing lovers for life?

3. And finally (for now), with all due respect to the people of Buffalo (and the rest of the original wing region) I’m going to make a generalization that won’t accurately catch everyone’s opinion but is a reflection of what I witnessed through numerous conversations in my 48 hours in Buffalo – the people of this region do not believe that good traditional buffalo wings can be found pretty much anywhere else in the world other than inside their region. And while I will not argue with you that your region is clearly the home of the wing, and the strongest overall wing region in the world, based on my experience of eating wings in many of the 49 other states and a few other countries – the wings that are being produced there are just as good, if not better in many cases than the ones that are coming out of your region. I know that this statement won’t be a popular one for many people to read, but I simply think that it’s time that we all begin to realize that the buffalo wing is reaching a state of maturity – where eateries in other regions have been able to not only reproduce the amazing work that you’ve pioneered, but they’ve also been able to evolve the wing to new levels that you might not be aware of – but may be pleased to experience…

As I said, much more to come on these three and many other topics, but for now we welcome your comments and thoughts…

Peace, love, and grease!

The Roth Brothers (Scott and Steve “The CluckBucket” Roth)


Anonymous said...

like to thank our wives (Kama and Allie) for letting us go on this journey.

don't be such a kiss ass!!

Scott said...

Appreciate your perspective, but if you knew the circumstances behind us taking this trip, you'd thank our wives too, so again, thanks Kama and Allie for letting us go on this epic journey...