Habitat’s Third Annual Chicken Wing Eat-Off
The sweltering heat didn’t deter Greenpointers from cramming into every sweaty corner of Manhattan Avenue’s Habitat restaurant and bar with barely enough room to breathe—or the twelve determined contestants in the Habitat’s third annual wing-eating contest from devouring as many sauce-slathered wings as possible, all in hopes of taking home a shiny gold trophy and a $100 cash prize. With just a single round of wing-eating lasting a full belly-busting ten minutes, there was no room at the table for chickens—except those whose wings were already barbequed.
Hosted by Dwaine, the rebellious and red-necked alter ego of Habitat regular and Quiz Night host Tim Kiefer, the wing-eating competition was a raucous event complete with friends and supporters holding home-made signs cheering on their chosen contestants, a live video feed streaming on the Habitat television, and filthy commentary courtesy of Dwaine. Kiefer has been a friend of the Habitat since the restaurant/bar’s opening and a steady wing-eating contest attendee, though this was his first time playing host to the event.
“I wanted to get to know the contestants, and make it more interactive this year,” Kiefer said. According to Kiefer, Dwaine was unavailable for interview due to the unpublishable nature of his incessant trash-talk. “I tried to involve the audience, too. There were a lot of new faces this year. Unfortunately, the winner didn’t eat quite as many wings as last year.”
It’s true: The winner of this year’s eat-off consumed 44 wings in ten minutes—four fewer than last year’s winner. Fortunately, it’s the same guy: Reigning champion Will Millender, a 29-year old Brooklynite.
“Last year I was a late entrant ad I won by a good margin,” Millender explained. “This year though, it’s good because I’m in a long-distance relationship and just got laid off, so this is my travel money to see my girlfriend!”
Ken Womble, 32, placed third in the competition, having ingested 34 wings. Though there can only be one true winner, Womble was proud of his efforts.
“I didn’t think I could beat the reigning champion, and the guy who got second place was wearing a cape,” Womble said. “I would have liked to eat more wings. But then I think I would have died. I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would, but I don’t feel great.”
Millender, on the other hand, was feeling just fine.
“Do I feel sick? No way,” he said. “I’m going out for ice cream after this.”