Chicken Wing Championship: Taste for yourself

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 02:45 PM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Bite into some of the area’s best chicken wings Saturday, when the third annual Aaron Rich Invitational Chicken Wing Championship sets up next to Wicked Wheel.

“It’s turned into something bigger than imagined,” said Aaron Rich, two-time winner and founder of the event. “I love to go around to different places and try out wings, and this gives people an opportunity to try them all in one place.”

The event began as a party Aaron’s wife, Heather Radke Rich, put together for his birthday to celebrate his love of chicken wings.

“We had a bunch of friends over and cooked against each other,” said Aaron, who since has turned the competition into a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Bay County.

Last year’s competition with 22 entries raised $5,000, in spite of rain. This year’s fundraiser will feature 25 wing varieties from restaurant owners and private chefs. Contestants are required to cook 300 wings in the regular Buffalo Style or specialty Free-For-All Style categories.

“Some people fry them and some people grill them,” Aaron said. “At last year’s event, I sampled every single one and a few of my own.”

His blackened wings won first place in the Free-For-All Style.

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