Think you’ve tasted the perfect Buffalo Chicken wing? Think again. In this hilarious doc, an American embarks on a wild, enlightening and kickass journey that spans 2,627 miles and 284 varieties of wings.
THE GREAT CHICKEN WING HUNT is a kickass documentary comedy about Buffalo wings and the band of misfits who set out to find the world’s best one. 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of America’s greatest food (March 4 is the exact date) and in its honour Matt Reynolds set out to find the best ones. It turns in an epic journey from Slovakia to the US ‘wing belt’ with a lot of chicken wings in between.
The press notes for Wing Hunt call it “The Big Lebowski of documentaries” and “One of the bonafide best movies of the year.” (Filmicability).
The year is 1964 in Buffalo, New York, and Teressa Bellissimo, co-owner of a family-run restaurant called the Anchor Bar, is asked to whip up a midnight snack for her son and his gang of friends. Luckily, this gives her the perfect excuse to use a box of chicken scraps—all wings—mistakenly sent to her that morning. Improvising, she concocts a special sauce she knows her spice-loving boy will like. A few minutes later, the Buffalo chicken wing is born, and the world would never be the same.
Almost 50 years later, the citizens of Bratislava, Slovakia are discovering Buffalo wings for the first time, at a series of tasting parties thrown by amateur wing chef Matt Reynolds, an American expatriate, international journalist and upstate New York native who has been living in Eastern Europe for the past ten years. Stirred by the Slovaks’ enthusiastic response, Reynolds’ fervor for his favorite boyhood food grows into an obsession and his relationship with the wing takes on a life of its own. Ultimately, in a move that stuns his friends and co-workers, he announces he will
be permanently leaving Bratislava, his career at Reuters and the entire life he has worked so hard to build, in pursuit of a singular objective: find the world’s best Buffalo chicken wing. With his long-suffering Czech girlfriend Lucie and a perplexed Slovak film crew in tow, Wayne County’s prodigal son embarks on THE GREAT CHICKEN WING HUNT.
Also joining him on this quest is a ragtag gang of wing-obsessed misfits, most of them recruited through a website Reynolds has launhed to promote the Hunt: Al, lovable hippie holdover, collector of strange objects and folk singer; Thor, larger-than-life competitive eating champ, barn bash thrower and woodwright; Ron, suburban father, buck hunter and lifelong employee of Eastman Kodak; Ric, agressively mellow Hawaiian chef, medical student and life coach; and a rotating cast of many others.
After receiving the blessing of Dom Zanghi, the last living witness from that fateful night long ago at the Anchor Bar, Matt and his caravan of characters set out on their 2627 mile journey, which starts in New York City amidst a hubbub of media attention and snakes its way through the heart of Wing Country. Along the way they stop at dozens upon dozens of wing joints and try 284 varieties of wing, a grind that will sow displeasure and dissent amongst the
group and put a serious strain on Matt and Lucie’s relationship
The Great Chicken Wing Hunt is a true travelogue about an odd sort of food journey. But hey we have all had food cravings before and there’s only one way to overcome them: Give in and surrender!
And that’s exactly what Reynolds did. With this kickass odd travelogue as a result.