The Spokane-based dressing maker Uncle Dan’s will be front and center at the Super Bowl of eating in Philadelphia on Friday, Wing Bowl 21.
Chris Stevens, president of Uncle Dan’s Authentic Salad Dressing Mixes, is supplying the bleu cheese dressing mix that contestants will be drowning their wings in during the competition. The Wing Bowl was started in 1992 by a couple of Philadelphia radio DJs who were convinced that the Eagles would never make it the Super Bowl again. The DJs at SportsRadio 94WIP created Wing Bowl, which initially was just a wing eating competition between the two of them, Stevens said.
It has grown to draw an audience of more than 20,000 people in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Tickets for this year’s event sold out in 48 hours, Stevens said. Last year’s winner of the wing eating competition was Takeru Kobayasi, who faced 29 other eaters and set a Wing Bowl record by eating 337 wings in an hour.
“Last year, they ate over 6,000 wings … so I am making lots of bleu cheese to go with that,” Stevens said in a news release.
Uncle Dan’s is a 46-year-old business started by Stevens’ father. The dressing mixes are manufactured in Kent, Wash., for the Spokane-based business. Stevens said the company was approached by Wing Bowl organizers, who were initially looking for a Philadelphia-based dressing maker. When they couldn’t find one that made the dry dressing packet mixes, Stevens said they invited Uncle Dan’s to supply the competition. They have distributed the dressing mixes only in the region, but will use the Wing Bowl publicity to expand into the Philadelphia area, and other place across the country.
In this area, viewers can tune in for Wing Bowl action and video highlights from previous competitions at wingbowl.cbslocal.com. Or, there’s a link on the Uncle Dan’s website at www.uncledans.com. Uncle Dan’s also offers dozens of recipes for using the products on the website.
Stevens said he’s planning a qualifier event for Wing Bowl 22 that would be held in Spokane in the fall or early winter. Uncle Dan’s will team up with The Onion Bar & Grill for the event. More details will be released as the event comes together.