New Chicken Wing King is crowned at 10th Annual Guitar Strings vs Chicken Wings

Submitted to the Sun

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. – As any self-respecting chef will tell you, having the perfect chicken wing recipe is critical to success. After several years of tinkering with ingredient combinations, Plumpjack Café executive chef Jack Connell has landed on a winning recipe for the perfect chicken wing.

“We are a seasonal restaurant, so for years we changed our wing recipe to adapt to the ingredients of the season. But not long ago, we landed on a recipe that was a total hit. Our customers freaked out when we tried to change it,” said Connell.

He added this “secret” recipe is all about the fundamentals: bringing the wings, making pickles and hot sauce from scratch. 

Connell’s wings were a huge hit at this year’s Guitar Strings vs Chicken Wings event at Palisades Tahoe on Sept. 8., which is a fundraiser for Tahoe Institute for Natural Science. Attendees vote on their favorite, and Plumpjack took the top prize out of the 6 local restaurants that put their wings to the test.

“This has been a few years coming. My entire team stepped up and did an awesome job to help us get the win,” said Connell.

In total, Plumpjack served 280 pounds of wings in a three-hour period. Perennial favorite The Auld Dubliner took second place chicken wings honors, and Tremigo came in third.

The other half of the event was the battle of the bands. The top three winners were The Nomads, Tim High and the Mighty, and Jelly Bread.  Another notable result from this year is that the Nomad’s lead vocalist, Kandy Xander, has entered the event three times with three different bands, winning every year that she has competed. 

Tim High & The Mighty.

This year’s event also saw the largest crowd in its ten-year history. Aside from being a great excuse to listen to good music and eat wings, money raised at the event supports the environmental educational programming at TINS.

“This was by far and away our biggest and best event yet,” said Will Richardson, Executive Director of TINS. “We have three main goals with it: to raise awareness about TINS and what we do, to raise money to support what we do, and to put on a fun event for the community. We succeeded on all three. We are deeply grateful for all the restaurants, bands, and volunteers for their hard work, the many sponsors and our partners at the Palisades Village Neighborhood Company who help make this event happen, and all the folks who came out to support the event.”

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