Brooklyn’s titans of the chicken wing will descend upon Red Star Bar to do battle at the third annual Best Wings in Brooklyn Competition on Saturday, February 25th. 14 contestants will pump wings out of the kitchen, each contending for the coveted place atop the heap, while attendees enjoy free admission and free wings all day long.
“To me, that’s why it draws so much attention: it’s free, but the product is good,” said Nick D’Arienzo, an event coordinator at Red Star Bar. “You really have 14 of the best wings in the borough. It’s fun and I think, as competitive as it is, [the contestants] win just by being in there. You’re being recognized as one of the best in the borough.”
Over 2,000 people attended the 2011 competition, and Red Star is gearing up for another packed house this year. Seven wing purveyors will set up shop on each of Red Star’s two floors, allowing attendees to sample wings all afternoon.
Competing wing-masters include defending 2011 champion Life Café 983 of Bushwick, 2010 champ Super Wings NY of Crown Heights, previous participants Bonnie’s Grill of Park Slope and Mulholland’s of Williamsburg, along with newcomers 773 Lounge of Ditmas Park, Lone Star of Bay Ridge, and the Dram Shop Bar of Park Slope. The contestants were chosen from a pool of 40 nominees compiled at the recommendation of local food writers, bloggers, and foodies.
“We’ve tried to double-check people’s nominations,” D’Arienzo said. “Over the last couple of weeks we’ve sampled every single one, and it’s pretty competitive.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will be on hand to crown the winners with two prizes: a Judges Award and a People’s Choice Award. The panel of expert judges includes Daily News features editor Jacob Osterhaut, yelp Brooklyn’s Peter DeNat, Brooklyn Paper food critic Sarah Zorn, Brooklyn Exposed publisher Sharon Beason, and foodcurated.com creator Liza DeGuia. D’Arienzo said the Judges Award recipient is “considered to be the official winner,” but the People’s Choice Award allows attendees to support their neighborhood favorites.
“Since so many people show up to this representing their ‘hood, they’ll come to support different places,” D’Arienzo said. “They come from as far away at Sheepshead Bay or Bay Ridge. I think that’s what [Markowitz] appreciates, that it brings together people from all over the borough.”
A portion of the proceeds will help support the Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation’s Boxing Program, “Cops & Kids.” The program began in 2010 when the PAL of New York shut down all boxing gyms in the city. “Cops & Kids” currently works with approximately 500 inner-city children, teaching them discipline and self-respect through boxing.
Red Star Bar
37 Greenpoint Avenue