Wearing roller skates and roller derby uniforms, Wicked City Derby Damez Soni Berkhemer, Krista Young and Stevie McVey, along with Jera Bullock, tasted wings and judged the best creations at a fundraising event hosted Saturday by the Ladies Auxiliary of Jack D. Levy American Legion Post 573.

“Donations generated will be added to the general fund which is used to serve individuals needing assistance.” Naomi Zenhye said.

Seven dishes were submitted in the contest in three different categories - Best Spicy Creation, Best Creative Sweet and Best Overall Flavor.

“My wings taste like the sweet smell of success,” Tal “Cookie” Clayter said.

He learned to cook at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, he said, where he ranked within the top 10 percent of his class as an apprentice with the California Chef de Cuisine Association. “That’s how I got the name Cookie.”

Greg Hoops and Jenifer Kilpatrick contributed raspberry chipotle wings. “We are here in support of the auxiliary,” Hoops said. “Concerning the other competition, they are OK. My wings are made with a touch of love.”

Hoops and Clayter sat at the same table when Clayter sized up his competition.

“His (wings) taste like love and mine taste like success,” Clayter said.

Tim and Heather McNeely sampled the last entry, which some believed was made with ghost peppers.

“I like hot stuff, and these did taste good until the pain came,” Tim McNeely said.

“My lips feel like they are chapped from eating the No. 7 entry. It reminds me of being pepper-sprayed while being trained in the Marines.”

“It was hot, but I’m not a baby like him,” Heather McNeely said. “I’ve given birth to two kids so I can handle anything.”

Winners included Spicy Wings by Pete Hagar, the owner of Pete’s Café; Sweet Wings by Hoops and Kilpatrick; and Best Overall Flavor winner went to Keshia Weinberg.


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