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Some people may prefer dry rubs, but on Sunday, May 20, attendees at the second annual Austin Chicken Wing Festival got a heavy helping of wet as they braved heavy rain and wind to pick wings clean and drink beer.

This year’s festival took place at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., though attendees who had paid for V.I.P. tickets were awarded entry an hour earlier. Sports bars such as Wingzup, Cover 3 and Sam’s Boat made welcome appearances, as well as other eateries such as Wild Chix & Waffles and Tso Chinese Delivery. Most of these restaurants offered one option to festival goers, helping lines move at a steady pace.

While the weather turned sour early on during the festival, patrons did not seem deterred thanks to the atmosphere and the wings.

“It’s all-you-can-eat, and bird is the word,” said Lisa Sanchez, who attended the festival with her family and stayed mostly dry with the help of a poncho.

The participating restaurants at the festival also braved the harsh weather as best they could. One of the more popular vendors serving chicken wings, Wingzup, offered a simple but reliably flavorful spicy lemon pepper wing, which patrons could couple with ghost pepper or Korean chili sauce. Meanwhile, Donkey Mo’s, a Korean fried chicken restaurant, served up sweet wings elevated by crunchy breading, and their stand boasted one of the longest lines at the festival. One of the other standouts was barbecue chain Smoke Daddy’s, which offered savory smoked wings instead of deep fried ones.

Meanwhile, other restaurants offered wing-inspired dishes, such as Wild Chix & Waffles, which coupled bite-size pieces of fried chicken dipped in mild Buffalo sauce with warm waffles. Tso Chinese Delivery impressed festival attendees with its wing-inspired rangoons, which housed warm cream cheese with Buffalo sauce and chicken.

For some festival goers, of the most surprising wing-inspired offerings at the festival was a vegan option — fried cauliflower covered in Buffalo sauce and ranch — offered by vegan gastropub The Beer Plant. While some attendees expressed distaste toward it, others expressed great enthusiasm for it.

“[The cauliflower] is my favorite thing so far,” said attendee Erica Barnhart.

Barnhart’s companion, Blake Bowers, agreed that it was tasty, saying that it was similar to the Buffalo cauliflower at Alamo Drafthouse. However, Barnhart and Bowers agreed that The Beer Plant’s take on the dish was better because it was covered in more sauce.

While sampling the available options, patrons could vote on what they thought were the best wings and the most creative dishes. Judges were also present to decide on both of these categories.

By 3 p.m., the weather had calmed and the festival kicked off its spicy wing eating contest in which participants competed to eat 10 wings in the fastest time. The wings, provided by Tso Chinese Delivery, used a sriracha-based sauce. Patrons gathered around the contestants and cheered them on during the brief but furious battle of speedy munching.

Attendee Greg Lesson emerged the victor from the battle and won a $40 gift card to any of the eateries participating in the festival. For anyone hoping to take on the spiciest of spicy wings, Lesson had just one tip: “Don’t be scared.”

Lesson said he plans to use the gift card at Tso Chinese Delivery, won over by their rangoons.

As the festival drew to a close, the winning dishes were announced. Wingzup walked away with the judge’s choice award for best wing, and Cover 3 earned the people’s choice award for best wing. Tso walked away with both the judge’s and people’s choice awards for most creative entry.

While the weather was not the most agreeable, the 2018 Austin Chicken Wing Festival proved to be a step-up from its first iteration, and may continue to draw in larger crowds in the coming years.

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Change should take time, and it usually does. Texas fans know this all too well.

But as the Longhorns hoisted the Big 12 regular season title in front of a sold-out UFCU Disch-Falk Field after a 7-3 victory over TCU, all of a sudden it didn’t seem like head coach David Pierce was in just his second season at Texas.

Soon after “The Eyes of Texas” concluded, junior second baseman Kody Clemens held the Big 12 trophy over his head as the massive crowd erupted. Then, the Longhorns doused Pierce with a tub of ice water.

“This group is special,” Pierce said. “They’ve got talent, don’t get me wrong, but they have heart. They have such desire. The love for each other in our clubhouse is what’s made this happen.”

At first glance, Texas simply displayed a poised, confident and, at times, dominant squad. But a first glance wouldn’t reveal that this Longhorn team lost 11 players to the MLB Draft last season. And the team celebrating with the Big 12 trophy certainly didn’t resemble the same team that struggled with a 9–9 record back in February.

That team was nowhere to be found as the Longhorns completed the series sweep of TCU, capping off a five-game win streak to end the season.

“It was only a matter of time,” freshman pitcher Kamron Fields said. “We all just sat down and said, ‘Hey let’s just calm down, get back to what we know,’ and that’s exactly what we did. … If the message hasn’t been sent yet, it’s definitely sent now.”

Kody Clemens proved to be the hero in game two after launching a walk-off home run, giving Texas a 5-3 win. And he immediately picked up right where he left off just in time for game three, blasting a two-run home run to give Texas an early 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Despite the Horned Frogs’ successful comeback to tie the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning, Kamron Fields shut down TCU from the mound after giving up just two hits and no runs in 3.1 innings.

Texas immediately answered in the bottom of the fourth, putting together a massive five-run inning which was more than enough to secure the series sweep in front of 7,294 fans, the largest crowd of the season.

“The fans the last week have been incredible,” Pierce said. “This is your vision when you come to a place like this that has been struggling with fan base and confidence in the team and what’s happening, and for us to get it in year two and continue to feed off of it, this is what Disch-Falk Field and University of Texas baseball is about.”

Now, Texas waits for several results: Will Texas host a regional? Will David Pierce be named Big 12 Coach of the Year? Will Kody Clemens be named Big 12 Player of the Year?

Senior first baseman Jake McKenzie said he has the answer to the last question.

“That’s a silly question. I think it’s pretty obvious,” McKenzie said. “He’s the most clutch player I’ve ever seen. He’s the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time). I've got nothing else to describe it. It’s unreal, I’ve never seen anything like it –– 19 home runs now, and all in big situations helping us win games.”

As for Clemens, he wasn’t particularly concerned about any accolades after the game. One hour after the sold-out crowd fled the stadium, one person remained on the field: Clemens, who sat on second base facing the “AG16” which lays in the middle of the Longhorn logo in center field honoring Longhorn legend Augie Garrido, who died on March 15 at the age of 79.

This likely isn’t Texas’ last home game. The Big 12 title drastically improves the Longhorns' chances of hosting a regional, but Clemens didn’t appear to want to take any chances on not taking advantage of his last stretch of games at the Disch, as he soaked in the quiet after the storm.

The Longhorns made it clear that they weren’t satisfied with just one regular season title. They want four more: the Big 12 tournament title, the regional and super regional title and, eventually, the College World Series title.

It starts with the Big 12 tournament, and Pierce doesn’t want his team to forget about its regular season title.

“I don’t think you forget about this,” Pierce said after the game. “I think what you do is you build off of it. You don’t get arrogant. You don’t get complacent. You continue to understand why you got into this position, and that’s because you did little things and you worked for it. That’s what we’ve got to continue to do.”

The conference tournament begins Wednesday, May 23 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. For now, though, the Longhorns will celebrate their 78th regular season conference championship.

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In the closest, most pivotal games of the season, the Longhorns came out on top, beating the Golden Gophers of Minnesota 2-1 on Friday night.

In the double-elimination format of the tournament, a win in game one is crucial for the team’s future postseason success. The team can now lose its next game and still have a chance at advancing to the regional final.

“It’s good to get off to a good start,” head coach Connie Clark said. “I thought we played really well in all facets of the game. We needed every bit of defense, while our young infield played like veterans. We hit on all cylinders and it was a great team effort tonight.”

Senior ace Paige von Sprecken pitched one of the best games of her career against the No. 25 Minnesota team. She pitched a seven-inning complete game allowing only a single run, while scattering four hits.

The key to von Sprecken’s success in tonight’s game was her plethora of different pitches. Her command on how much heat gets placed on each ball also played a large role.

“That’s one thing she does really well,” Clark said. “I think she gives you a look with three different speeds so she isn’t just going at you hard. Ellsworth calls the game and I thought they did a really nice job. I thought they got better as the game went on by setting hitters up and working ahead in the count.”

Adjusting to an impressive Minnesota lineup filled with strong batters was important in achieving the victory. Knowing how to work a batter and how to get batters out in key situations made the difference.  

“Me and Paige have a really good relationship and there’s a lot of trust there,” sophomore catcher Taylor Ellsworth said. “Knowing that I could get a waist pitch not called for a strike on the first pitch, and her work back to get a batter out is a main goal for us, and that’s just a trust thing. Being able to work around batters and not just go straight at them every single time is very important.”

The game-winning run was scored by sophomore Kaitlyn Washington, who was driven in by the team’s other Kaitlyn, sophomore Kaitlyn Slack. The game had been tied heading into the top of the sixth before the Kaitlyn’s got to work.

“I was just trying to stay aggressive,” Slack said. “I knew that I was only going to get one best pitch of the at bat, so I attacked the first pitch and it fell. So I was happy with that.”

The team is set to take on No. 5 Washington on Saturday, which will determine who moves directly to the regional final.

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With a conference championship hanging in the balance, junior second baseman Kody Clemens stepped up to the plate.

In the bottom of the ninth, Ellis showed up in a big way once again. With two outs, he hit a hard grounder to first and beat out a tough play with what may have been the most important hustle play from the team all season.

“Duke’s a threat if he gets a ball in play at all,” redshirt junior closer Andy McGuire said. “He always gives 110 percent down the line. A lot of guys are rolling over to first base and thinking they’re out automatically. It’s one of those things you don’t really think about when you look back. But if he doesn’t do his job at a time where it could’ve been easy for him to put his head down and go play defense, he’s a guy that busts his ass and gave us a chance.”

With sophomore outfielder Duke Ellis on base, one of the country’s most dangerous hitters had his opportunity and ran with it. In a storybook ending, Clemens, who has lead the team all year, hit the season’s most terrific and critical walk-off home run in front of the year’s largest crowd to give Texas a 5-3 victory over TCU.

“It’s the best,” Clemens said. “This is what you dream about while you’re playing baseball. This is where you want to win the game. You go into your backyard and say, ‘Bottom of the ninth, two outs, tie game. Two strikes.’ It’s unbelievable. I’m just happy I could do it for these guys.”

Going into Friday’s match-up, Texas was a game behind Oklahoma State in the race for a conference championship, and desperately needed a win or an Oklahoma State loss just to keep pace for a shot at a conference championship split. They got both. And the Longhorns now control their own destiny with one more regular season game against TCU on Saturday afternoon.

“We just continue to play the right way,” head coach David Pierce said. “Every game is so special, but when you’re always working for the chance to play for a championship, that’s what we’re doing. And they’ve had to earn it. They just keep grinding. Nothing’s been easy for them.”

Early in the ball game, the outcome looked questionable. Junior starting pitcher Chase Shugart spotted TCU three runs, partly due to an untimely error by sophomore shortstop David Hamilton. After the first inning, though, Shugart locked in and went for five complete innings and only allowed one earned run on four hits.

“I didn’t say a word to (Shugart) after the first,” Pierce said. “I knew we needed him. After the third I think went to him and said, ‘Look, I don’t make pitching changes always because of results. A lot of times you could have great results and still not throw the ball well.’ So we had that discussion in the third inning and surely he stepped up and got it done.”

Texas will now do everything in its power to secure a Saturday victory at the Disch. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

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After participating in the Austin Chicken Wing Festival last year, Waller Creek Pub House will return for a second go-around on Sunday, May 20 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the festival’s new, larger venue — The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts — alongside other participating restaurants.

The pub’s owner, Anggay Tenney, spoke with The Daily Texan about the pub’s plans for the festival, the wings they will be serving and what they hope to gain from participating in the event.

Daily Texan: What kind of wings is the Waller Creek Pub House planning to serve at the festival?

Anggay Tenney:  It’s going to be the wing we normally have at the pub. I could talk you through the process of how we make them.

DT: Sure, go ahead!

AT: So we do a naked 24-hour beer brine with the wing, then it’s tossed in a Creole mustard seasoning and served dry with a side of the house-made Buffalo sauce and ranch. We use beer off our bar’s 30 different rotating taps, so it’s always a different beer we use for that brine and it causes a slight variation in each batch due to the different beers being used (for the festival, Waller Creek Pub House will brine its wings in Oskar Blues Brewery’s Dale’s Pale Ale).  It makes it fun to try and decipher the different flavors of those brines.

DT: Will these wings be really spicy?

AT: They won’t be knock you off your feet spicy. They’ll definitely be edible.

DT: Will the pub be participating in any competitions?

AT: We’re definitely going to be entering the (best) wing competition at the festival, just like we did last year.

DT: What do you hope to get out of the festival?

AT: We’re hoping to … get our name out there, get people tasting our products, (mingle) with the guests so that they can come out and visit our restaurant, because we offer other items other than just wings. And, I heard the festival was a ton of fun last year, so we just want to get out there and have a good time and mix and mingle with everyone.

You can find out more about the Austin Chicken Wing Festival here.

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In what may very well be his final home outing of his Longhorn career, junior starting pitcher Nolan Kingham pulled Texas one game closer to the top spot in the Big 12.

On Thursday night, Kingham was given the ball to start the game, but also ended up finishing it. Kingham dominated the Horned Frogs in a complete game performance, only allowing two earned runs on six hits and issued a mere one walk over the course of nine innings en route to a 3-2 victory over TCU.

“I thought (Kingham) was unbelievable in the way he attacked,” head coach David Pierce said. “He attacked all night, walked one guy. But he had that bit in his mouth. He wanted the ball all night and he was making quality, quality pitches. But he attacked (TCU). And once we get into that mode of attacking hitters, allowing our defense to work because they’re really good, then good things happen for us.”

Kingham made it known that he was “back.” After showing moments throughout the season of the dominant pitcher he has proved himself to be, he hadn’t been able to piece together a dominant start since his first performance of 2018. If there is a time to find that magic, however, it couldn’t be any more perfect for the Longhorns than right now.

“(Kingham’s) statement to me after the game was, ‘Alright Coach, now I’m back,’” Pierce said. “And I’m like, ‘Alright, well we're just getting started.’ So perfect timing. We’re in a great position. Now let’s move forward.”

Although Kingham said he knew by the seventh inning that he was going the distance, Pierce knew all along that that was his plan, he just needed Kingham to want it bad enough before he gave the go-ahead.

“I think (Pierce) was testing me a little bit,” Kingham said. “He came up to me and was like, ‘Hey we’re going to (redshirt junior closer Andy) McGuire, good job,’ and stuck his hand out. And I said, ‘Coach, with all due respect, this is my game. I want the ball.’ And he goes, ‘Alright, that’s what I wanted to hear. Get after them.’ And that was that.”

Something seemed different about Kingham right from the very first pitch. Something the Texas faithful hadn’t seen in a while. It turns out it took something a little unconventional to bring Kingham’s mojo back.

“(Kingham) actually went back to last year’s cleats, his last year come-out song, and he was like, ‘I’m coming back,” junior outfielder Masen Hibbeler said. “And that’s exactly what he did tonight and it was fun to see.”

Hibbeler provided a spark of his own as his two RBI were the majority of Texas’ runs on the night. One of which came on a monster solo shot to left field.

Texas’ latest victory comes at arguably the most pivotal moment of the season. Before game one, the Longhorns sat just two games behind the top spot in the Big 12. That number dwindled down to one after their victory and Oklahoma State’s 9-4 loss to Texas Tech Thursday night. The Cowboys, who still hold first place, and Texas both have two games remaining in the regular season with only one game separating the two.

The Longhorns continue their quest for the best record in the conference as they take on TCU again on Friday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.

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The UT System Board of Regents named former UT-Austin President Larry R. Faulkner the interim chancellor during a Friday special meeting.

Faulkner, UT president from 1998 to 2006 and a renowned chemist, will begin leading the System June 1 until chancellor William Mcraven’s successor takes office. Faulkner told the Houston Chronicle he does not intend to stay in the role permanently.

"I expect a new chancellor to be in place well before the next legislative session starts," Faulkner told the Chronicle Friday.

Board Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker, who is leading the chancellor search, said the System’s search committee hopes to name a final candidate by the Regents retreat on July 11 and 12.

“Dr. Faulkner can step in seamlessly to continue to provide a high level of strategic leadership and support to all UT presidents and UT System Administration employees, and my colleagues on the Board and I look forward to working with him,” Board Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker said.

The Regents also unanimously voted to create a $7 million loan to potentially run the Los Alamos National Laboratory during the Friday meeting. Regent Rad Weaver abstained from the vote.

Through the System’s internal lending program, the loan will transfer $7 million to the limited liability company the System created as part of its proposal to run the historic nuclear research lab.

If the System wins the management contract for Los Alamos from the U.S. Department of Energy, the loan will help cover costs for a four-month transition period. The federal government will provide $12.5 million for transition costs to the contract winner, but System documents state this “modest” sum may not be enough to “engage its key personnel from day one” to address existing lab “risks.”

The System’s management company, which includes at least one undisclosed corporate partner, will pay back the loan once it receives additional federal funds. The loan will not be created if the System is not awarded the contract.

The Department of Energy is expected to announce the contract winner by the end of this month, according to the Austin-American Statesman.

The lab in New Mexico was first established for the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II and is currently run by the University of California and three companies.

Under the University of California, the lab failed to meet safety standards and has even shut down because of nuclear risks. With the University of California’s contract coming to an end, the Department requested contract proposals last June.

The System is now competing for the contract against Purdue University and a Texas A&M and University of California partnership, according to the Statesman.

The loan request from departing Chancellor McRaven is the latest financial effort to secure the contract. Last September, the Regents invested $4.5 million to begin crafting the management proposal.

McRaven and Regents Jeffery Hildebrand, Paul Foster, David Beck and Ernest Aliseda have said running the Los Alamos contract is a worthwhile investment that will bring opportunities and prestige to UT-Austin. But the Board narrowly voted 4-3 to formally bid for the contract last December.

Regents Janiece Longoria, Steve Hicks and Kevin P. Eltife voted against running the lab, noting financial and reputational risks for UT and the System. Longoria also said in December that UT officials and researchers also had concerns.

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Sophomore shortstop David Hamilton continues to pile on the statistics against his hometown team.

On Tuesday night, he added another spectacular performance to his highlight reel, going 4-5 on the night and hitting his fifth career home run in a rain-delayed 6-2 win against the Texas State Bobcats.

“We had some really nice performances offensively, especially with David Hamilton,” head coach David Pierce said.

In three games against Texas State, Hamilton is batting .750 (8-12) with three home runs and seven RBI. Add into the mix a walk-off grand slam back on May 1 and you have a San Marcos-native who has absolutely punished his hometown’s flagship university.

“(Hamilton’s raised performance against Texas State) is interesting because a lot of times that happens with good pitchers, and they’ve got good stuff, and you see the ball well,” Pierce said. “Certain teams do the same thing, and he’s definitely a thorn in their side right now.”

The rain delay, which lasted a total of two hours, put a damper on starting pitcher Matteo Bocchi’s night, but not before he threw four complete innings, only allowing one run on five hits. Bocchi, though, believed he could have put in another inning or two before his day should’ve been over.

“Honestly, I was kind of upset,” Bocchi said. “But I don’t really like lighting, because I’m kind of scared of it. I think I could have gone one or two more innings. But with the rain delay, I started getting cold and my body started getting tight. I haven’t started in a long time, so I don’t have that many pitches in my arm.”

It was a special day for Bocchi. A native of Parma, Italy, this was the first time that his parents were able to see him pitch in the United States. Bocchi pitched at Odessa College for the last two seasons before transferring to Texas this past year.

“This was the first time (my parents got to see me pitch in the United States),” Bocchi said. “They had a chance to go to Odessa, but they ended up not coming, because I was like, ‘If you really want to come, come next year at Texas, because it’s a much better place.’”

The Texas win now brings the Longhorns’ total record to 34-18 on the season with only three games left before the Big 12 tournament. Those three games, a home series against TCU, will be pivotal in determining Texas’ fate once the postseason arrives. Texas will likely need all three to have the opportunity to host a regional tournament.

Two teams in the Big 12 are currently slated to host regional tournaments — neither reside in Austin. Texas Tech, which is currently the fifth-ranked team in the nation, is fourth overall in conference, but is scheduled to host a regional in Lubbock. As is Oklahoma State, who is currently first in the conference.

Look for Texas to use everything it has and exhaust every avenue in order to get its shot at hosting. The series against TCU will begin Thursday at UFCU Disch-Falk Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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The bronze medal is a compelling idea: just good enough to place, but not good enough to be at the top. That has been the epitome of the Longhorns’ softball season, as the team has played top-teams incredibly close all season, but failed to notch any signature wins.

The team continued this trend as they defeated Texas Tech in the third-place game of the Big 12 tournament by a score of 9-2 on Sunday.

Picking up an additional two wins, Texas’ win against Tech and the tournament opener against Iowa State last Friday, is critical for the team’s postseason chances, with the Tech game particularly being a strong rebound after a crushing 10-1 loss to the Sooners of Oklahoma.

“I thought that we played really great,” senior captain Randel Leahy. “We came out with our backs against the wall today. We just really needed that win.”

The team was strong on every front, as the offense and pitching staff both put on a clinic before NCAA play.

On offense, the team was led by freshman MK Tedder and sophomore Kaitlyn Washington, who both had two hits and two RBI apiece. Sophomore Taylor Ellsworth and Leahy chipped in another two RBI apiece while combining for five hits.

‘Freshman of the Year’ candidate Janae Jefferson scored another one for the team as she continues to build on her solid opening campaign for the Longhorns.

“I think the team came out and just relaxed,” Leahy said. “We just played like we know how to play.”

In the circle, senior ace Paige von Sprecken finished her strong season with a victory. She finished her Big 12 Tournament career with a dominant outing, allowing only two runs while scattering five hits across seven innings.

The pitching staff for the team has been electric this season, as both von Sprecken and junior ace Brooke Bolinger locked down opposing teams.

“We’re really excited,” Leahy said. “I think that the postseason will really be our time to shine. I think we’ve improved a lot of things on defense, offense, and in the circle. So I’m really excited to see what we can do.”

After a sluggish start to the season, the team improved and finished the season with a 32-24 record. That record should be good enough to merit a bid into the postseason.

Texas is heading west for the Seattle regional to take on Big 10 champion Minnesota (39-15) this Friday. The news was announced at the NCAA selection show on Sunday night.

Last year, the team lost to Texas A&M in the Regional Final. The team hopes to improve upon last year’s performance and advance to the Women’s College World Series this season.

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Chicken wings might be the main attraction of the Austin Chicken Wing Festival, but they won’t the only food attendees will find at the event, which takes place this Sunday, May 20th at the The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts  from 1-5 p.m.

Wild Chix & Waffles, a cafe that serves up chicken, Belgian waffles and coffee, will serve up wing-inspired chicken bites instead of wings at the festival on Sunday, May 20th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Daily Texan spoke to the restaurant’s founder, Wendy Wu, to find out more about the origin of her eatery, what she will be serving at the festival, and her recommendations for festival attendees taking on the hottest of hot wings.

Daily Texan: How did you get involved in the Austin Chicken Wing Festival? What will you be serving?

Wendy Wu: We entered the festival when Scott (Shepard) and Gavin (Booth) contacted us saying they would love for us to be part of the festival, to serve our chicken. We thought it was very interesting, so we decided to join … We’re going to be serving chicken wing-inspired bites, some hot chicken dishes served with some of our special sauces.

DT: Will you be at the festival yourself?

WW: Yes, I will be there myself … I’ll help cook and serve and explain our dishes to all the people that are there.

DT: At your restaurant, you serve a combination of chicken and waffles. What is it about about combining these two foods that you like so much?

WW: For me, chicken and waffles just speak “comfort food.” Whenever you feel down or want something that’s fulfilling, chicken and waffles are a great combination. People often think it’s a brunch item, but to me, it’s an all-day item. For us (at Wild Chix & Waffles), we’re thinking the waffle itself is more like a vehicle (for the chicken) like a burger bun.

DT: I’ve read on your website that your time in Paris inspired you to give Wild Chix & Waffles a European flair. Could you talk about that a bit and how that contributed to your restaurant?

WW: My background is actually in architecture. While in Paris, I was working for an architectural firm there, and I just in general loved food since I was young, so I’ve always liked to cook … Some people say I’m like an architect gone wild. I took all my design background and put it into (the design) of the restaurant ... I incorporated my design skills into the restaurant, into the food, into the things that are crucial. As an architect, we do a lot of design, we do a lot of research in the beginning. We want to make sure the design meets all our requirements and has our own concept behind it. We tried out so many vendors for the ingredients we used, and we always strive for the best quality food.

DT: Do you have any tips for surviving the hottest wings?

WW: Tips? Well, I love spicy food, and I can handle a lot of spicy food. So I see people bring some milk, bring something to cut down the spice when they need it. But in the end, to me, it’s endurance. That’s the challenge, having something spicy … It’s a fun thing to do with friends.

DT: So you’re recommending that people go as long as they can without milk or ranch?

WW: Yeah! I would definitely recommend you do that until you cannot handle it anymore.

You can find out more about the Austin Chicken Wing Festival here.

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