Last week Ace Eat Serve hosted eight local Denver chefs — from Coperta, Desmond, The King of Wings food truck, Cho 77, Big Red F, Lou’s Hot & Naked and the Osage Cafe — for a fundraising wing-off. Wings were flying as complimentary bars shook up specialty cocktails like Sazeracs, old-fashioneds, whiskey smashes and Manhattans to wash down the poulet.
Wristband wearers enjoyed unlimited bone-in wing samples — ranging in preparation from traditional buffalo to more imaginative recipes like mint pesto or Picante oil, pineapple and smoked bourbon. Chef Ryan Gorby’s team at Cho 77 took home the Wing King trophy with its charcoal-grilled Vietnamese caramel wing accompanied by a peach whiskey and green mango relish.
During the event, an open-invite wing eating competition rallied several event goers to a poultry eat off — forming a cheering crowd of bourbon-fueled wing connoisseurs and led by an ecstatic hype man in a bright yellow chicken suit.
The funk came compliments of the Buffalo Wingmen featuring members of Euforquestra, who lit up the patio with groovy David Byrne covers while whiskey sippers paddled ping pong and destroyed wings until dusk. The patio party was in full swing by 6 p.m. Sunday afternoon — and was arguably one the tastiest cookouts of summer 2017.
The food, drink, music and friendly competition on Sunday were all part of a greater cause — proceeds from the fundraiser were donated to Denver Housing Authority’s Youth Culinary Academy. With a turn out like this, you can bet we will be looking forward to the event again next summer.
Ace Eat Serve is located at 501 E. 17th Ave., Denver. It is open Monday through Wednesday 4 to 11 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday 2 to 11 p.m.
All photography by Amanda Piela.