- 16 days
- 72 stops
- 2,627 miles
- 270 types of wings
American expatriate, international journalist and upstate New Yorker Matt Reynolds forsakes a successful life in Eastern Europe, compelled by a singular obsession: find the world’s best Buffalo chicken wing. Joined by his long-suffering Czech girlfriend, a perplexed Slovak film crew, and a ragtag gang of wing-obsessed misfits recruited online, Reynolds embarks on THE GREAT CHICKEN WING HUNT. After 2,627 miles and 284 varieties of wings, the quest ends in the very countryside of Reynolds’ childhood, where he discovers that the perfection he has sought so hard to find was right under his nose all along.
MATT REYNOLDS, Director
Role: hunt leader
Reynolds grew up in Lyons, a small town in New York State, and after moving to ex-communist Europe in 1998 made it his mission to introduce Buffalo wings to the Slavs of central Europe. He and his Slavic friends dreamed up the hunt at a bar in Bratislava, Slovakia. As a journalist and native upstate New Yorker, he believes he is uniquely qualified to lead the search for the world’s best wing.
A native of Niagara Falls, Ron witnessed the rise of the wing in Western New York firsthand in the 1970s. Ron is a pepper-grower, hot-sauce maker and the Hunt’s leading expert on heat.
BEN “MIGHTY THOR” BEAVERS, competitive eater
Role: official judge
A 340-pound woodwright from Rochester, New York, Thor holds regional titles in pizza, wing, and ice cream eating. He placed fifth at the 2007 National Buffalo Wing Festival, wolfing down 87 wings in 12 minutes.
RIC KEALOHA, Chef
Role: culinary authority
A world-traveler and renaissance man, Ric has been a wing buff since eating his first Buffalo wing in the late 1980s at the start of his culinary career in NYC. Now based in Prague, Ric stuck by his commitment to go on the hunt even though his wife gave birth to their first child just days before the trip.
AL CASTER, Musician
Al lives in South Butler, a hamlet near Syracuse, New York. A self-taught musician, and avid wing-eater for over 40 years, Al was the Hunt’s leading expert on mild wings and the team’s most generous grader.
LUCIE MAYEROVA, social worker
A native of Czech Republic, Lucie was originally drafted into the Hunt as a statistician. She became an official judge during the trip and was an influential voice during deliberations to pick the world’s best wing. She processed the data from the Hunter’s scorecards and relayed it to the Hunt’s Michigan-based research team.
ZUZA PIUSSI, Slovak filmmaker
A well-known actress and filmmaker in her native Slovakia, Piussi came to the U.S. to document the Hunt and “get to the bottom of America’s passion for wings.”
Maros Berak, soundman, bone-eater
Another filmmaker from Slovakia, Maros shocked and amazed the Hunters by eating chicken wings whole, bones and all,. He is an enthusiastic proponent of the idea that the Buffalo wing is a key part of the collective American identity (as pasta is to Italians or wine is to the French).