What do you get when you cross Chickie’s and Pete’s with Rowan President Ali Houshmand’s secret hot sauce? A new annual eating competition and lots of greasy fingers.
Houshmand, in part with the local sports bar franchise, hosted a new competitive wing eating competition this Tuesday which was meant to raise funds for student scholarships.
Not only did Houshmand brand the hot sauces used at this Tuesday’s first-annual competition, but he personally made them.
With help from the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, Houshmand turned the peppers he grew into the three types of hot sauce used for the event. They could also be purchased during the event for $10 a jar.
The event was emceed by Philadelphia Phillies Public Address Announcer and Rowan almnus Dan Baker.
The competition lasted three rounds with each of Houshmand’s three hot sauce flavors, the mild “Ali’s Nasty,” the hotter “Nasty-licious” and the hottest “Nasty Vicious,” scaling in intensity as the competition went on.
Competitors ranged from Rowan students to Glassboro Police Department members and fire fighters.
“I think this event says a lot about Ali Houshmand,” said senior psychology major and competitor, Joey Bertheau. “His want to raise money for these students at Rowan University makes it feel like we’re a tight nit family.”
During the first round, all 10 competitors were able to finish their wings and move on to their second plate of wings, but only five eaters remained for the final round.
“It actually hurts to smile,” said a contestant and Rowan faculty member Demond Miller.
In the end, the third, second and first place winners of the competition were Rowan Student Government President Lauren Bitzer, Bertheau, and director of student affairs Constantine Alexakos respectively. Alexakos dubbed himself “Lord of the Wings” for the competition.
“Initially I thought it was a wing cooking contest,” Alexakos said. “In between rounds was tough because you just want to the round to start and get done with it, but that final round with the seven of the hottest wings that he has, those wings are no joke.”
After the main competition ended, Houshmand congratulated the winners and remarked about how proud he was of the Rowan community for supporting student education.
“[The success of this event] was important because it will help students who are really seeking education and receiving education and then are not burdened by too many financial issues,” Houshmand said. “I especially do not want students to drop out of a school due to financial issues. So the more people who continue to buy [my sauce] will help more students.”
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