We arrived a little early so we could size up the crowd and teams. A mere $5 entrance fee and $1 for samples fromt the booths. A luxury you can't get at Memphis in May. 47 competing teams (up from 33 last year) were ready for an eye-scratching, hair-pulling, chicken fight! The new location on S. Main at GE Patterson was a prime spot. The area was spacious, people and pet friendly. Good assortment of vendors. The spray-on tattoo vendor booth was rockin! Hot chicks vending beer. Roller Derby girls skating about...gothy-HOT! ( http://www.facebook.com/memphisrollerderby) My blogger-in-crime can't wait to go to a game and sit in the suicide seats. He's hoping for one or two of them to fall right into his lap. I'll be sitting further back, out of the collision course with a very big stick. HA!
The FOOD: We both drew on-site judging and set out individually for our wing adventures. We were asked to keep our judging in line with the MBN guidelines (Memphis Barbecue Network - http://www.mbnbbq.com/): Greet the team, introduce yourself, tell them you are one of their judges, repeat their team name, ask if you're in the right place, check to see if the area is clean (you know, no passed out team members or guests lying around in the booth), listen to their story (how they formed as a team, where they came up with the recipe, who does the cooking, etc), taste the wings, ask questions or encourage them to keep chatting while you eat as much as you can, thank them very much for hosting you.
We each judged 3 teams. I was fortunate to have 3 very good teams with delish wings. My co-hort was not as lucky. We both had one team that put a match to our asses. WHEW! And we like heat! But too much hot goopy sauce killed it for us. Wings were perfectly cooked though...we just couldn't taste them because our taste buds were burned off! It was NOT surprising that one of the teams I had the honor of judging won 1st place! YAY for The Ranch Beneath My Wings!!!!! 2010 Southern Hot Wing Festival Champions! I'm standing and applauding because their wings got 5 SKULLS from me! http://www.commercialappeal.com/photos/2010/apr/19/164582/
In conclusion, we really think this festival ROCKED and are very certain that it will be much larger next year and will continue to grow. Mark your calendars for next April dudes...you won't want to miss it!