Who serves the best chicken wings in the 'burbs?
A Schaumburg restaurant was declared the king of wings Sunday, taking home the big prize in the 15th Annual Wingfest and Bags Tournament in Schaumburg.
The event, which benefits the Woodfield Area Children's Organization, was held at Drink, 871 E. Algonquin Road.
Frato's Pizza, 628 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg, was the winner of the Best of the 'Burbs category, chosen from among 11 competing restaurants by a panel that included three mayors, Al Larson of Schaumburg, William McLeod of Hoffman Estates and Rodney Craig of Hanover Park.
"We're celebrating," said Chef Ed Musto of Frato's, which received a $250 grand prize. "We're going to have a good time and we're going to celebrate this. This is a year's worth of hard work and a lot of sweat, a lot of pain."
Admission for the public was $30. The proceeds go to WACO, an all-volunteer organization serving disadvantaged children since 1979.
Geri McCall-Barrath, the group's vice president, said the money will enable the organization to take 500 disadvantaged children living at or below poverty level Christmas shopping in December.
"One hundred percent of what we make today goes to that, every penny," she said.
"This is one of our biggest fundraisers, but we anticipate it becoming our biggest fundraiser."
Frato's not only took home the big prize, but also won two of the four awards judged by the people, one in the category of crispiest and another for messiest.
MT Barrels won in the category of creative (savory or sweet), while Alley 64 earned honors for zippiest.
Frato's offered a mild Buffalo sauce and its inferno mustard wings, as well as a whiskey barbecue that Musto said will be coming out at the end of the month.
The whiskey barbecue features Jim Beam and a little bit of brown sugar.
Wing enthusiasts such as Shaina Woody of Schaumburg sang Frato's praises.
"I love them," she said.
"Frato's has got probably the best wings I think I have ever had."
For the mayors, the judging went quickly, they said, with little time to breathe between wings.
Some of the entries, the identities of which were concealed from the judges, proved a bit of a challenge to the palate.
"There was one," Craig said, "my lips were instantly numb."
Larson said it was the cause that mattered most.
"It's a great cause," he said. "WACO has set a standard, I think, for not-for-profit organizations that very few can even approach."