The general public may be unaware that today’s “National Chicken Wing Day.”
Not Drew Cerza, Buffalo’s “Wing King.”
Cerza, who a dozen years ago founded the National Chicken Wing Festival held each year in Coca-Cola Field, plans to feast on a platter of chicken wings at the Anchor Bar for lunch.
“I don’t think we ever need an excuse to eat wings, but it’s a good excuse,” he said. “It’s kind of a recognition of all the hard work people do in the restaurant business.”
The special day in Buffalo was proclaimed in 1977 by Mayor Stan Makowski, in honor of the Anchor Bar’s original recipe, created by Teressa Belissimo one night 50 year ago. She deep-fried wings and slathered them in hot sauce and butter, creating a culinary favorite. Until then, chicken wingss were generally used to flavor soup or were tossed out.
“One thing the Anchor bar will always have is that they’re the original, but like pizza, everyone has their own tastes and flavor profile they like,” Cerza said.
“You might see more people eat at the Anchor Bar or Duff’s or La Nova, but there are so many good places to go. There are also the well-placed secrets, like the 911 Tavern on South Park in South Buffalo, or the Bar Bill in East Aurora. If you watch them, they brush the sauce on every individual wing. That’s what I call love.”
Calls to the Anchor Bar and Duff’s Famous Wings found nothing different was planned despite the special food day.
Don’t expect Ivano Toscani, Anchor Bar’s head chef for more than 40 years, to eat any.
“I like a nice pasta. A nice antipasto. I also like lobster and steak,” Toscani told The News in March. “But I don’t like chicken wings.” Toscani said.