Great Food Truck Race’s Just Wing It believes everyone loves chicken wings


In this season of The Great Food Truck Race, Just Wing It had a very specific food truck vision. Could chicken wings bring these friends food truck glory?

Chicken wings are a favorite, almost iconic, food. Just Wing It, participating in The Great Food Truck Race, had a clear food vision for their food truck. If you make the best chicken wing ever, people will line up down the block to enjoy those wings. While this idea might work in a real world setting, the Food Network veterans hit a few obstacles on their food truck competition journey.

Just Wing It featured three friends and Food Network show veterans. Steven Crowley, Kevin Pettice and Sharon Shvarzman met while competing on Worst Cooks in America. It sounds like a great promotion for the cooking knowledge that contestants learn on Worst Cooks in America. Although the team didn’t call their truck From Worst to First, the three teammates did prove that they could cook some delicious chicken wings.

As The Great Food Truck Race enters the end of the season, FoodSided chatted with the three teammates on this Food Network experience, working together on a food truck and their love of chicken wings.

Just Wing It from The Great Food Truck Race, photo provided by Frank PR

As former contestants on Worst Cooks in America, what was the biggest cooking lesson that you learned or what cooking tip should the home cook learn?

Steven: Cook what you love. If you love eating a certain type of cuisine, start cooking it.

Sharon: The biggest lesson I learned was that cooking is not as scary at it looks. Food is like art. It’s all in the mouth of the beholder. One thing I will say is that if I would have done one thing sooner and that was to just get in the kitchen and cook. Cooking is a craft and not only a gift. You can perfect it with time, practice and patience.

Kevin: Be very careful of the hot grease.

Is it important to be friends if you’re running a food truck? Did you guys ever fight during the competition?

Steven: The most important thing is respect and to be able to hear each other. We fought…a lot. We fight, that’s what we do. We let each other know how we’re feeling in that exact moment and we move on. I think we have this special ability to tell each other to screw off and immediately laugh about it and get back to business. Communication is the most crucial part in any business and believe me, we communicated a lot at each other.

Sharon: At the end of the day it’s all about accomplishing the same goal. If everyone is on the same page then there shouldn’t be many arguments. Of course the three of us were going to come into some sort of confrontation one time or another but it was like brothers arguing and hugging it out 10 min later. I love those two. I’m living my dream and they are part of it.

Kevin: Yes you guys should make sure you play to each others strengths.

Why do you think that chicken wings have such mass appeal?

Steven: They have such wide appeal because they are an American icon, invented in the good old United States. When I think of America, I’m thinking Washington, the Super Bowl, and buffalo wings.

Sharon: Chicken wings are universal! Everywhere you go in the world they have a chicken wing recipe indigenous to the area. What our strategy was to compress the world into our signature sauces and pair them to Kevin’s amazing dry rub.

Kevin: They are light and quick to eat with less mess to clean up.

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  • During the second episode, it was suggested that you add some garnishes to your wings, what sides/garnishes work well with wings?

    Steven: Most connoisseurs and die hard wing fans, will suggest celery and blue cheese are the only things to be served with wings, but we see the wings as a canvas and we’re the painters. It’s all about the ying and the yang. Sweet compliments salty, spicy compliments savory. It’s all about balance.

    Sharon: Wings are tough to pair with side dishes. Wings should stand alone or they aren’t really great wings then. We incorporated the basic carrots, celery just to keep the nostalgia of the Wing.

    Kevin: Carrots and celery are really good with wings.

    Which challenge/challenges were the hardest for you on this season of The Great Food Truck Race?

    Steven: The hardest challenge in my opinion, was all of them. We wanted to be a truck that just sold wings, hence the name. Our disadvantage was that we didn’t have a lot of extra ingredients in our truck to be used for challenges. Anytime there was a challenge it required us stocking up on ingredients and items that we wouldn’t necessarily use as we moved from city to city.

    Sharon: The toughest challenge that aired so far was definitely the Sonic Challenge. We were given a very sweet drink that was tough to pair with wings. Granted lots of fruits work in sauces. We just weren’t able to find the right balance with flavors.

    Kevin: Working in such a confined space.

    Just Wing It from The Great Food Truck Race, photo provided by Frank PR

    That particular The Great Food Truck Race episode was quite difficult for Just Wing It. While their flavor combination wasn’t the most obvious, it was a difficult choice to incorporate into a wing recipe. Other food trucks would have had a better chance of incorporating that flavor combination in their food truck style,

    Both Kevin and Sharon believe that fruit flavored wing, especially the strawberry margarita sauce, shouldn’t be a wing flavor. As for Steven, he suggested that mild, just melted butter isn’t a good option. It sounds like the team would prefer to stay away from experimental flavors.

    While wing sauce can be a hotly debated topic, wing condiments are even more divisive. The dreaded question – ranch or blue cheese can break even the strongest friendships. Of course, I had to ask where they guys’ allegiance lies. Steven and Keven are both team ranch. Sharon had the unexpected answer of neither. He prefers extra wing sauce on the side.

    One burning question still remained. Since Just Wing It sells tons of chicken wings, they must know a secret to avoiding a chicken wing messy disaster. What do the guys recommend to stay less messy while eating chicken wings? I think that Sharon says it best, “I think chicken wings are went to be messy! They are meant to be eaten with your hands so go crazy. That’s what napkins are for.”

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    Best of luck to Just Wing It. Be sure to watch the remaining episodes of The Great Food Truck Race Season 9 on Food Network.