Delaware State Chicken Wing Championship results 2013

The Delaware State Chicken Wing Championship took place this past weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (10/26/2013). Marilyn and I were fortunate to be judges.

In the short video below (1:28), I’m basically panning around the area of the judges table and including some of the competitors. The huge crowds you see in the background are coming from the Annual Sea Witch Festival – a parade of sillyness that is somehow related to Halloween. 🙂

The Delaware State Chicken Wing Championship 2013

There were 17 different restaurants and hot sauce makers competing for best wings in the Delaware State Chicken Wing Championship. Each competed in up to 3 categories, although most bowed out of the final Best Presentation entry.

Marilyn and I sat among 12 other judges at a long table, that was smack dab in the middle of a main pedestrian path from the Avenue (Rehoboth Beach’s main drag) to the Boardwalk. To say it was crowded and hectic is an understatement.

Judging Table underway

photo: Melissa Pritt

The fourteen judges were given a verbal presentation from the entrant, wings were passed out, and our judging and scoring began. We awarded up to 30 points total for each entry. Based on the timing of submissions and number of contestants, we did not have a lot of time between each entry. Scribbling notes, tasting, and keeping up with the fast pace of the wings that were coming at us, we did the best we could to keep up.

It was frenetic fun, and the immense variety of wings we got to sample was amazing. Some of our favorites, off the top of my head, were, loaded potato skin wings, jalapeño popper stuffed wings, black cherry soda wings, parmesan crusted garlic wings and Mayan Chocolate wings. I’m so sorry I don’t have pictures of those incredible concoctions! (When your hands are covered in sauces and spices, and you’re writing notes, it’s hard to get pictures).

Here is our host and MC, Chip Hearn of, laying out the ground rules (there were no rules) and introducing the judges (3:45). Filmed from my vantage point about midway of the judges table, that is Marilyn directly in front of me, to my right was Steve Chambers, and to my left was Eric Grant.
The bloggers were assembled at one end, the radio media at the other, and in between were various other wing aficionados.

Next up, a short video of Johnny McLaughlin of explaining his “deconstructed wings” for the Best Presentation category. Those cubes used to be wings!

Here are the Winners in each category

Huge thanks to Georgia Leonhart, publicist, for filling in the blanks of all the winners here. Thank you Georgia!

700-Peppers Wing Event Sfd Bloody mary Peppers closeMR

The Best Wings Presentation:

1st PlaceBethany Blues Restaurant – popsicle style wings wrapped in bacon and topped with smoked jalapeños
2nd Place – for the “dragon” wings presentation – created by Chef Jared Martin
3rd Place – Heartbreaking Dawns’ Johnny McLaughlin for his deconstructed wing “cubes” with coconut garnish and sriracha style sauce
– 4th – The Starboard Restaurant, Dewey Beach
– 5th – Port Restaurant, Dewey Beach

The Most Unusual Wings:

1st Place – Heartbreaking Dawns – Johnny McLaughlin – Mayan Chocolate wings with Blue Cheese Ice Cream
2nd Place – Bethany Blues, Lewes – Chef Rich Nofi – Whiskey Apple Cider Fall Spice BBQ Wings
3rd PlaceRehoboth Ale House – Momma T’s Pesto Pollo Wings
– 4th – High River Sauces – Steve Seabury – Mothra Wings
– 5th – Obis One – Black Garlic wings

The Best Wings:

1st Place – Port Restaurant, Dewey Beach, Delaware – Sweet Chili Wings with Mango Habanero
2nd Place – – Chef Jared Martin – Improv wings – BBQ, mustard, garlic
3rd PlaceKick n’ Chicken – Chef Scott Saucier – Tazmanian Wings –
– 4th – Rehoboth Ale House – Chef Jodi Sowersby – Garlic Butter Parmesan Wings
– 5th – Rehoboth Seafood Market – Chef Brock Hutchison – Tequila Chipotle Lime Wings

The Overall Delaware State Champion Winners are:

1st Place – Bethany Blues Restaurant – Bethany Beach, Delaware
2nd Place –
3rd Place – Heartbreaking Dawns
– 4th – Rehoboth Ale House
– 5th – Rehoboth Seafood Market

Pics from the Delaware State Chicken Wing Championship 2013

Click a pic for gallery viewing goodness…

We hope you enjoyed this post with all the media. Please let us know in the Comments below.

Delaware State Chicken Wing Championship

Competition will be fierce for the title of Delaware State Chicken Wing Champion. The competition gets underway Saturday October 26, 2013 with over 25 contestants competing in 3 categories – Best Wings, Most Unusual Wings, and Best Wings Presentation.

Wing entries

Wing entries from past competition

The Delaware State Chicken Wing Championship

Wing it at Sea Witch

The chicken wing cook-off for State Champion will take place smack in the middle of the insanity and costumed silliness that is the 24th Annual Sea Witch Festival (a family oriented, slightly organized parade of costumes, floats and other Halloween shenanigans). That “Wing it at Sea Witch” slogan is a great, unintended tie-in to the Delaware State Chicken Wing Championship competition, is it not? Thank you Sea Witch um… witches!

Sea Witch parade

The Sea Witch parade – shenanigans I say!

Wing sauce makers and local chefs (see below) will gather in front of The Ice Cream Store at 6 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to impress a roster of judges that include local media personalities from radio, print, TV and internet, as well as local politicians.

Scheduled to judge will be (among others) Patricia Talorico – News Journal, Andrew Koch – WGMD Radio 92.7, Mark “Petch” Petchey – WAFL Radio 97.7, Kelli Steele – WXDE 105.9, Rafael Orlando – WYUS 930am, Senator Ernie Lopez, Mayor Sam Cooper – Rehoboth Beach, Mayor Diane Hansen – Dewey Beach, Brian Keene – WBOC TV, Rehoboth Foodie –, Al “Buddah” Goldenberg –, and Marilyn & Brian Meagher –

Press Release:

What: Delaware State Chicken Wing Championship
When: Saturday, October 26th, 2013
Where: During the Sea Witch Festival – in front of The Ice Cream Store at 6 Rehoboth Ave and the Boardwalk – Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Delaware Wing Championship sponsors

Co-sponsored by Mountaire Farms, The Ice Cream Store and

World Champion Chicken Wing companies that will be challenging Rehoboth area restaurants:

Blair Lazar from Extreme Foods (Blair’s sauces) of New Jersey

Food Network star and maker of world champion sauces, John McLaughlin from Heartbreaking Dawns of New Jersey

Chopped TV Star and maker of world champion sauces, Steve Seabury from High River Sauces of New York

Cooking Channel star and maker of world champion sauces, Lisa Lloyd from Obis One Foods of New Jersey – specializing in Organic Black Garlic and maker of award winning rubs

John Rizzotti of Rippin’ Red – a Four Time National Champion Wing Sauces creator and winner of a Screaming Mi Mi for Best Habanero Hot Sauce at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo

Local restaurants that will be competing (as of press time):

Kevin Roberts from Bethany Blues Restaurant – Delaware State Ribs Champion / Delaware State Wing Champ

Charlie Pollard from Kickin’ Chickin’ – Delaware State Wing Champion

Chip Hearn from – World Pulled Pork Champ / Multiple World sauces champion

Update 10/17/2013: Also scheduled to compete:

Dominic Pandolfino from The Starboard Restaurant, Dewey Beach. Chef Inton Mouynivong of Port Restaurant, Dewey Beach. Robert Parker of Wings to Go, Dewey Beach. Buffalo Wild Wings, Rehoboth. The Pond, Rehoboth. Zoggs Raw Bar & Grill, Rehoboth. Modern Mixture, Rehoboth. aMuse, Rehoboth. Arenas Deli & Bar, Rehoboth. Summer House Saloon, Rehoboth. Jakes Seafood House, Rehoboth. Casa Dileo, Rehoboth. Rigby’s Bar & Grill, Rehoboth. Dogfish Head, Rehoboth. Cafe Azafran, Rehoboth. Purple Parrot Restaurant & Bar, Rehoboth. Gretchen Hanson of Hobos Restaurant and Bar, Rehoboth.

The competition will be open to all businesses that are current members of the Rehoboth Beach / Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. There is no fee to compete.

Prior winners include Beachcomber Restaurant, Wings to Go, Irish Eyes and Starboard Restaurant.

Judging for the Delaware State Wing Championships will begin promptly at 1:00 pm. Judges will be national and local food writers as well as TV, radio and newspaper personalities.

The competition will be composed of three separate challenges. The winner of each challenge will be declared a Delaware State Champion and the overall winner will be crowned as THE overall Delaware State Champion.

As each dish is handed in, all competitors will be required to turn in an 8½ by 11 inch paper, listing the name of every entry and its ingredients, so that the media can fully report on the fantastic tastes. Each challenger will also be asked to explain their entry in detail to the judges.

Scoring will be on a thirty point system (where half points may also be used). A maximum of ten points for taste – a maximum of ten points for WOW factor – and a maximum of ten points for whatever the judge thinks points should be given (after all, there are no rules)!

All entries may be displayed on whatever plates, dishes, bowls or other contrivances you wish to use. Please include a small sign with the name of your wings with the entry. Please pay attention, because you, yourself, need to retrieve whatever you use. You must turn in a minimum of 25 “portions” for each event. Any items that the judges don’t consume will be eaten (quickly) by the crowd! The more portions that you enter, the better chance you have of a judge loving their second taste. If you wish to include sauces, dips, rubs, garnishes or any flair with the dish, please do so.

Because there will be so many entries, we would suggest that you attempt to be one of the first to turn in. Think of heat retention as well as the judges’ taste buds!

At 1:00 pm SHARP all contestants will turn in their concept of
Rules: there are none – the judges will have to answer the question, what, exactly, does the best wing taste like, look like, feel like and ?. We are looking for chef inspired wings that could grace the table of any restaurant!

At 1:45 pm SHARP all contestants will turn in their perception of
Rules: there are basically none. The Most Unusual entry can be based on taste, sauce, rub, cooking method or looks. It can be very visual and may be shown to the judges in any way. It can be anything that the chef things of!

At 2:30 pm SHARP all contestants will turn in their notion of
Rules: there are none – the judges must simply be amazed! Presentation ultimately means something visual or an impression that makes a judge want to reach out and eat the first wing. Any chef might want to re-enter a recipe from a previous category and to “jazz it up” somehow!

All of the winners will be announced at the conclusion of the judging of all three categories. Announcements will be made at the Bandstand at the end of Rehoboth Avenue and the Boardwalk.

Do you plan to attend the Delaware State Chicken Wing Championship next Saturday? If so, leave a Comment below, and stop and say “hi” at the judges table!

Peppers At The Beach May 15-16 2010

John Dilley’s Defcon Sauces and Chip Hearn’s Peppers Team Up For Peppers At The Beach Event

Update: 5/8/10 – Check out the latest podcast from where we talk with Chip Hearn of and John Dilley of about this big event!

Update: 5/1/10 – Due to the Race in Dover, Delaware, rooms are filling up fast. We are lucky to live in Ocean City, MD and we have a few contacts that may be able to get you a room for the weekend. OC is about 35-40mins away from Peppers. Shoot us an email or hit the Contact tab up there if you need help.

John Dilley sent out the following press release announcing what will be a major event for us here on the East Coast!
While it won’t be a formal trade show, it will be a gathering of hot sauce manufacturers and chileheads over the 2 day weekend.

“This won’t be a formal trade show, but more of a large-scale demo, where manufacturers can sample their products to the masses, join in a few eating competitions, and just hang for a weekend and have a lot of fun. All products shown at this event will be available for sale inside the Peppers store, so bring extra stock in case they run out. This is also a great way for newer companies to get their name out and to get on the shelves at this very well-known location. We are also toying with the idea of getting sponsors and making up some very cool t-shirts for the event.”

“The plans are to have this 2-day event in and around Peppers, in the parking lots outside. It’s only going to be mid-May, so the temperatures should be quite nice. There will also be a Blogger Booth setup for those that are part of the Chilehead Nation, and for specific hot sauce blogsites to get their names out as well. There will be no charge for setting up for this event, unlike the larger trade shows. There will also be discounted rooms at a nearby hotel, and Saturday night, there will be a big party for everyone in attendance at a nearby drinking establishment. Myself and Chip are in contact with various TV networks, and are trying to get a couple food personalities to join in the fun as well, as there will be a few eating competitions throughout the days. Chip is also contacting many local news stations and will be promoting this gig very well.”

“This is a good chance to get some cool exposure, not to mention having just a plain old-fashioned fun weekend. I’m trying to get an idea of the number of people/companies that are interested, so please email me at [email protected] or give Chip a call at Peppers, 800-998-3473 if you are interested, and we’ll put you on the list. If things go as well as I think they will, this may turn into an annual event. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. If interested, I will be sending out updates from time to time, as I find out more information.”

Peppers At The Beach

Who: and
What: Gathering of Hot Sauce Manufacturers and Chileheads
When: May 15th and 16th, 2010 10am – 5pm
Where: Peppers 18701 Coastal Hwy Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

I’m very lucky to live about 30 minutes from Peppers, so you can be sure I’ll be there, and I hope you will too!
Leave a comment below and let me know if you are planning to attend.
Of course I’ll post further updates as they become available.

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