Local USVI News

St. Thomas-Based Barefoot Buddha Restaurant Wins Second Place During National Buffalo Wing Festival; Bryan Issues Statement

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St. Thomas-based Barefoot Buddha Restaurant, which recently participated in the National Buffalo Wing Festival held Sept. 3-4, won second place in the Buffalo Media Award category with “Best in Show” — putting the USVI front and center in the national competition.

The event is held annually in Buffalo, New York and it was the 20th year of competition. 

Governor Albert Bryan in a statement issued Tuesday praised Barefoot Buddha for the achievement. “Chef Baker and her team did an outstanding job representing the USVI on the national stage through a medium that all Americans, and especially Virgin Islanders, can relate to: delicious chicken wings,” the governor said. “Her mouthwatering island-inspired wing sauces were a hit with judges, food critics and festivalgoers at the annual championship, and her entries showed that in addition to our beautiful beaches, thriving marine tourism and exciting culture, the Territory also is known for its flavorful Caribbean cuisine and excellent food.” 

Barefoot Buddha is known for its signature sauces and style of wings, and the restaurant recently won the King of the Wing contest held at Magens Bay on Saturday, June 11. As a result, the restaurant earned the opportunity to represent the Virgin Islands at the national competition. The team won airfare and accommodations from the King of the Wing sponsors to compete in Buffalo, and they were accompanied by the V.I. Department of Tourism.

“I’d also like to thank Alpine Securities USVI and White Bay Group for their continued sponsorship of one of the most popular events on St. Thomas. In the 11 years they have been hosting the King of the Wing Contest, it has grown to become a signature festival that delights locals and visitors alike,” Mr Bryan said. “More importantly, Alpine Securities and White Bay have always donated proceeds from the wing contest to local nonprofits and charitable organizations, contributing consistently to the betterment of our community in a fun and delicious way. Their commitment to giving back is to be commended and is a shining example of the best things that we as Virgin Islanders are known for.”

National Buffalo Wing Festival or Wing Fest is a weekend festival held on Labor Day weekend at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, celebrating the Buffalo style chicken wing. The festival culminates with the International Federation of Competitive Eating-sanctioned Buffalo Wing eating contest, which has taken place the Sunday of the festival since 2003, except 2020 when it was canceled.

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