Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
At festivals the music often takes centre stage, but nowadays, the lineup of food is almost as vast. When dancing, camping and getting by on very little sleep, we all reach that pivotal point of ravenous hunger, and once it hits there’s just no shaking it. Packed full of guides and interviews with music talent and food truck vendors, our new franchise, The Hunger Stage, celebrates the sheer joy of food at festivals in all its messy, greasy glory.
Love chicken wings? Who doesn’t?!
Well, what if we told you that there was a whole entire festival dedicated to them coming to London very soon? Yep, it’s a chicken lover’s paradise.
In case you haven’t heard us harping on about it before, Wing Fest is *back* for 2022, and it certainly doesn’t look like one to miss.
Founded by chicken wing connoisseur Richard Thacker, the festival is taking over various outposts across the UK this year, and after a successful start in Derby, big ‘ol London is next on its list.
Yup, Wing Fest will be at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the east of the Capital on the 16th and 17th July, offering chicken wing addicts the opportunity to try the very best that the city has to offer.
The festival is a platform for chicken wing pioneers to show off their goods, and most importantly win a coveted Wing Fest prize (at this point it’s pretty much deemed an Oscar of the chicken wing world).
Previous winning wing vendors include Wingmans, We Serve Humans and Petare, each of which have offered their own buffalo wings (“an un-breaded chicken wing, cut in half with the tip discarded, deep-fried and coated in a base mixture of cayenne-pepper sauce and butter,”) and wild wings (which are fusion takes on classic wings – a category which has no rules, and where creativity is key).
As you can imagine, both of these categories have garnered some tasty results in the past, like We Serve Humans’ amusingly dubbed “Covefefe” wing (sweet and then sour with hints of coffee and citrus), Biff’s vegan jackfruit wings with artificial bones and True Wings’ obscenely spicy Wing Commander, which was as perfectly glazed as it was fiery.
As for what this year’s candidates have up their sleeves? Well, we don’t wanna spoil all the fun, but take a look at some of the dishes being teased on social media….
It is expected that 200,000 chicken wings will be served across the weekend, from 40 different stalls, restaurants and BBQ teams, so we heartily suggest you arrive hungry and ready to fill your boots.
In case you weren’t aware, we know a little something about fusion food here at Twisted, which is why – drumroll, please – we’ve been enrolled to help judge this year’s London festival.
You might remember that we also took up judging duties when the festival last ran, and if you’re familiar with our work, you’ll know the Twisted chefs are about as qualified as they come when it comes to ranking the very best wings in town, whether made of chicken or a plant-based alternative.
Don’t believe us? Just check out our Korean Buffalo Mushroom Wings, for one.
So, if you weren’t lured in by the possibility of eating as many chicken wings as you can get your chops around (let’s face it, you were), then perhaps the chance of meeting yours truly might sweeten the deal?!
You can grab tickets to this year’s Wing Fest here, with prices starting at £25 – but hurry, Saturday is already sold out and Sunday won’t be far behind.
Oh, and keep an eye on our page for exclusive interviews with chicken wing big-wigs and coverage of this year’s Wing Fest activities, too.
We promise it’ll be so good you’ll be able to taste the chicken through your computer screen.