Dayton business owners come out on top in chicken wing competition

Steven Earnest, owner of Lord of the Wings, and Michael Baxter, owner of Mother Clucking Chicken Coop, both came out on top as they battled it out in a chicken wing competition on Saturday, March 4 at The Arena Sports Bar in Dayton.

When it came to delivering the best wings, Baxter won the judge’s vote and Earnest won the people’s vote.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The competition covered five categories: Hot, BBQ, Plain, Garlic Parmesan and Lemon Pepper.

Judges Tae Winston, Dre Newton, Devanna Washington and Ask a Fat Guy, along with the audience, tried two wings in each category not knowing which business they were from and voted on their favorite.

Baxter and Earnest are longtime friends who have had an ongoing debate for the last two years about which of them have the best chicken wings.

Earnest brought 10 years of experience to the competition. He previously said he started off cooking from home, renting out different bars to cook at in the area and eventually had his own brick-and-mortar in Clayton for a year. Earnest currently caters.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Baxter started a food truck over a year ago after attending culinary arts school. He previously said he decided to open a food truck to continue his grandfather’s chicken tradition. His grandfather owned a chicken spot at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for 20 years before he retired, he explained.

“I feel like he won, I won, the people won,” said Earnest. “People get to eat good. We get to have fun. Two Black men doing something great.”

“Everybody won,” Baxter added.

Both said they hope to make this an annual event.

About the Author