Savannah Chicken Wings take on New York City

It’s actually kind of a big deal and an another indication of Savannah getting more and more national attention when it comes to its emerging food scene.

It’s not the kind of honor that gets much mainstream attention, but just ask a chef who gets invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City if it is a big deal and you will get a resounding “yes, absolutely”

The latest Savannians to be offered such a golden ticket are Brandon Whitestone and Zach Shultz of Cotton and Rye and Sugo Rossa. They’ll be participating in the Southern Wing Showdown at the Beard House on Thursday, June 29th.

“We are pretty excited about it.” Brandon told us recently. “It’s a first time for both of us. We hear the kitchen is pretty small.”

Small it is.

The James Beard House-quite literally-served as legendary culinary figure James Beard’s House in Greenwich Village. It not only houses the headquarters for the James Beard Foundation, but also hosts chef events and dinners year-round in order to promote the Foundation’s mission. Their mission simply is to “Celebrate, nurture and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food more delicious.” Who wouldn’t sign up for the celebration of great food?

Zach and Brandon are 2 of a total of 9 Southern chefs who have been invited to participate in the Showdown. Other participants range from Nashville to Atlanta to Charleston. Some of the South’s best chicken wings will likely be represented at the party. What kind of wings will they be offering? They are making the same wings they did which happened to win Atlanta’s Southern Wing Showdown last year. That event, by the way, is coming up again on August 20th.

Crispy Sumac and Chile–Dusted Chicken Wings with Spiced Honey Butter Bean–Corn Succotash with Field Peas, Sweet Peppers, Onions, House-Cured-and-Smoked Bacon, and Herbed Butter

Sounds incredible and a couple of steps the other side of KFC.  To see a full list of the menu and more information click here.

At the end of the day, it is an honor to be asked to participate in such an event and join a growing list of Savannah chefs who have done so. That list includes Kyle Jacovino of The Florence and Dusty Grove of Edgar’s Proof and Provisions.

The Southern Wing Showdown in New York and the event in Atlanta are both brought to you by Springer Mountain Farms.

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jesse@eatitandlikeit.com'

Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.