When you sit down, open your menu, and order your choice of wings, starters, and entrees at Buffalo Wings & Rings, do you ever stop to ponder who comes up with the incredible flavor combinations you see before you?
Behind every great restaurant is a great chef who uses his or her culinary skills and inspiration to create the menu options, tastes, variety, and flavors that bring you back again and again. It’s not often we get to hear from chefs who work tirelessly behind the scenes to innovate and create and make sure the menu keeps delivering not only what you expect but also sometimes the unexpected, too.
It is with that in mind that we sat down with our very own Chef Dan to get to know him a little better, learn what he loves to eat and drink at Buffalo Wings & Rings, how he re-imagines his leftovers, and to gain insight as to how he finds inspiration for new menu items.
Q & A With Chef Dan Admire, Executive Chef at Buffalo Wings & Rings
BW&R: What's your favorite BW&R menu item and why?
Chef Dan: The MVP Ringer Sandwich! It allows our beer-battered, premium-cut chicken (topped with our signature spicy mayo!) to take the center stage while providing a cravable combination of salt, fat, acid, heat...watch the Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat series on Netflix!
BW&R: What's your favorite chicken recipe to make?
Chef Dan: Boneless Korean Chicken Wings – getting a sweet-spicy glaze on the chicken and topping it with chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds makes me hungry every time I make it!
BW&R: How do you prepare your BW&R leftovers?
Chef Dan: I recommend using boneless wings in a stir fry with our teriyaki sauce or Korean gochujang with whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator.
BW&R: What's your drink of choice for spicy wings?
Chef Dan: Water or beer!
BW&R: What about a non-spicy menu item?
Chef Dan: I love a Vanilla shake.
BW&R: What's your favorite non-chicken item on the BW&R menu and why?
Chef Dan: Our burgers, because they have a great brisket and chuck blend. I’m a burger purist with mustard, pickles, and cheese only.
BW&R: What LTO item was your favorite and why?
Chef Dan: Beer battered chicken tenders with Sam Adams beer cheese sauce and fries. What’s not to like about crispy chicken with a hot beer cheese for dipping?
BW&R: If you could only eat one wing flavor and spice level for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?
Chef Dan: Ghost Pepper Ranch, it’s a heat that sneaks up on you, makes you sweat a little and then disappears...it’s ghostly! I always want one more after it diffuses!
BW&R: What side items are your favorite?
Chef Dan: Our Onion Rings because they are such a classic. Thick-cut, breaded, and served with our ’Bama White BBQ sauce, you really can’t go wrong.
BW&R: Where do you get inspiration for new BW&R menu items?
Chef Dan: That’s a complicated question. I’m like a funnel that information is poured into from customers, market research, employees, books, cooking shows, the internet, R&D, and just about anyone who has an opinion about cooking (which is most people). You learn to connect the dots of commonalities.
BW&R: For someone new to BW&R, what would you recommend they order first as the best introductory menu items?
Chef Dan: Wings with our sauce sampler so you can try different flavors.
BW&R: Why do you like working for BW&R?
Chef Dan: The people that I work with in our restaurants and the support center. Everyone has fun and stands together as a family.
BW&R: Anything new on the horizon you can tell us about?
Chef Dan: Our Chipotle Blueberry BBQ sauce for wings and a sandwich with the sauce and pecan-cranberry slaw! It’s a new LTO starting in August.
BW&R: What else would you like your customers to know about the ins and outs of being a chef?
Chef Dan: Wake up thinking about cooking, think about it all day, and fill up the funnel of ideas! Know that your very best ideas are ahead of you and always will be. The evolution of cooking has been a constant for thousands of years so you never hit the end of the road. It’s a never ending search for perfection.