South Carolina food truck entrepreneurs Ramone Dickerson and Corey Simmons consider their specialty, chicken wings, a blank slate on which they can create virtually anything.
And as viewers will see on the OWN Saturday, Aug. 16, special “Wingmen,” they do, incorporating such unlikely ingredients as macaroni and cheese, jambalaya, strawberries and collard greens into their creations. But that’s not where their inventiveness ends.
Their wings are stuffed, a novel idea and a process that neither Simmons nor Dickerson will divulge.
“When you bring in the whole element of stuffing things,” Simmons explains to Zap2it, “you can make chicken into whatever you want it to be. We actually made a chicken wing that tastes like banana pudding.”
The hourlong program follows the two best friends as they create and sell their comestibles in their truck, 2 Fat 2 Fly, on the streets of the capital city of Columbia, hoping one day to make it big in the food business.
Self-made and self-taught, the two men draw inspiration from the unlikeliest of places, and a lot of what’s on the menu is a result of trial and error.
The goal, says Simmons, is to create not only a flavor, but an experience.
“We try to bring people to a certain place in their life,” he says, “possibly with a flavor, where they’ll take a bite and they’ll say, ‘Oh man, this reminds me of blah-blah-blah.’
“My favorite that puts me in a place of home is Song of the Southland, where we put collard greens and rice on the inside of a wing. You bread it like traditional fried chicken. We’ll pack it with a hot sauce, and every bite is like, ‘Yes, it’s Sunday, the family is around, we’re having a great time.’ “
They’ve also gotten inspiration from movies.
“‘Donnie Brasco,'” Dickerson says. “We played with a coq au vin wing. You know, toward the end when Al Pacino has the kitchen just torn up with his little coq au vin expedition? We figured a nice red wine sauce with some pearl onions and potatoes and a melted butter glaze would be a nice touch on a coq au vin.
“And we would get stuff from ‘Pulp Fiction,’ where we would do kind of a cheeseburger wing,” he continues. “And then we’d serve the fries with, like, mayo or cheese.”
Along the way there have been some misfires.
“This is what happens when you start stuffing wings and you get high on yourself,” Dickerson says, “You think that you can put stuff like thin mints inside wings. I had just done a s’mores wing and we tried it and one dude was like, ‘Shut up’ and threw the plate and walked away.”
And I was like, ‘Wow, is it bad?’ and he was like, ‘No, I like it. I’m not supposed to like that.'”
“So I tried just the Swiss Cake Rolls and thin mints in the wing,” he continues, “and that’s when Corey gave me this hand on the shoulder that was reminiscent of ‘Varsity Blues,’ and was like ‘OK son, you might want to slow down.’ “