“Best Chicken Wings” Competition in the Dining Hall

Mr. Bendall, on the left, and Mr. Smith, on the right, are preparing tp serve their chicken wings  during the dining hall cooking competition.

Photo by Mrs. Bard, Rectory Communications.

Mr. Bendall, on the left, and Mr. Smith, on the right, are preparing tp serve their chicken wings during the dining hall cooking competition.

On January 28th, 2021, Rectory dining hall hosted a “Best Chicken Wings” competition between Mr. Smith and Mr. Bendall. While Mr. Smith presented the crowd with juicy buffalo flavored wings, Mr. Bendall served up some gentle, Asian sweet and sour wings. All students and faculty members sampled both chicken-wing dishes. The winner was chosen by the crowd clapping for both dishes, and Mr. Williams, as the final judge, decided which chef’s recipe received the longest and loudest applause reflecting the sentiment of the crowd. Mr. Bendall received slightly louder applause from the diners (as you can “hear” from the short video clip attached), so he won this tasty chicken wings contest! Congratulations, Mr. Bendall! Although the prize for the winner is still undecided, this competition was hugely successful, so it will be held again at Rectory School in the future. 

According to Mr. Williams, Mr. Smith’s Buffalo wings had a bold, but balanced flavor, with just the right amount of spice to enhance the flavor, without producing too much heat. In contrast with Mr. Smith’s recipe, Mr. Bendall’s Asian sweet and sour wings had a subtleness to them. Together, the two recipes created a balance between the bold and subtle flavor varieties of chicken wings. As a person who went to college in New York, where Buffalo wings are famous, Mr. Williams would only say that, personally, the Buffalo wings gave him the fullest flavor. 

Fortunately, both of these chicken wings recipes no longer remain a secret. There was lots of butter and hot sauce, in particular the red hot sauce in the Buffalo wings, as Mr. Williams guessed. Whereas the ingredients in Mr. Bendall’s recipe were harder to guess, Mr. Williams assumed his chicken wings contained soy sauce and either lime or lemon juice added for sweetness. As one of the samplers, Mr. Williams correctly guessed most of the ingredients in both recipes, missing only minor seasonings from the Buffalo wings’ recipe.

Without much background knowledge, students were surprised to learn that both Mr. Smith and Mr. Bendall are good cooks. Mr. Bendall was already known on campus as the successful baker who invented a widely-loved cookie in the Rectory dining hall: the white-chocolate-chip cranberry cookie. However, it is important to note that Mr. Bendall got his chicken-wing recipe from a site on the Internet, whereas, Mr. Smith’s recipe was his own creation. In fact, right before the chicken wings were served, Mr. Smith added some extra sauce to his Buffalo wings; this step personalized his dish, which amazed Mr. Williams and highlighted Mr. Smith’s cooking skills. Meanwhile, Mr. Bendall was busy lobbying people to vote for his recipe. (We have included both recipes at the end of this article.)

Finally, Mr. Williams wanted to give a special thank you to Chef Dave’s team in the kitchen, to Mr. Bendall and Mr. Smith, and to all the students and faculty members who helped to make this event possible.

Mr. Williams revealed that either homemade pizza or chile would be the content of the next recipe competition. Dust off your tried-and-true pizza and chile recipes soon, so you can participate in the next exciting Rectory cooking contest. Bon Appetit!! Or, should we say, “Buen Appetito!”

Mr. Bendall-Asian Chicken Wings – Crunchy Creamy Sweet