Too hot to handle: Students try their luck in hot-wing contest 

by | Jan 30, 2023 | News

Chicken wings, a pub classic, were once considered a wasted part of the chicken. The wings were tossed in the garbage or used in a stock. It was not until 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York when Teressa Bellissimo cooked some wings as a late-night snack for her son and his friends—tossing them in hot sauce and leaving a delightful stain on the tablecloth of culinary history.

NAIT continues to embrace the history of the chicken wing by hosting a hot wing eating contest, held in the Common Market on Jan. 24. Students paid a $5 entry fee for a chance to win $100 loaded onto their One at NAIT card. 

A redheaded girl poses with hot wing sauce all over her face. She is making an a-okay sign.
Cox poses after eating her hot wings.
Photo by Fraser Sockett

Kayla Cox, a Human Resources Management student, explained the conditions of the contest. “It was….” She paused, still struggling through the hot sauce. “It was whoever could eat [the wings] the fastest in under a minute.” Each contestant was given seven wings to eat in under one minute.

Cox says she prepared intensely for the contest. “I ate a bunch of spicy foods. Eating some hot chicken sandwiches, Cheetos dipped in chilli powder. I literally took Cheetos and dipped them into a bunch of hot powder.” Cox wasn’t given many details on the contest beforehand, so she didn’t know if it was going to be a test of endurance, speed or stamina. 

According to Cox, the wings were not as intense as some expected, and she called them “not too spicy.” One of the event organizers, Adenike Lawrence, Marketing Manager with Chartwells was happy with the results. “The students looked like they had fun! Based on that, this is something we will do from time to time to unwind and have some fun.”

Cox was unfortunately not the winner of the challenge, as the successful student devoured their seven wings in 32 seconds. No date has been announced for a future wing-eating contest, but students can keep an eye on the poster board around campus. In the meantime, Nest Eatery has discounted wings every Wednesday for students who want to practice their speed-eating skills.  

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