Meet the Wing King
Discover the story of Drew Cerza, the “Wing King” of Buffalo, who founded the National Buffalo Wing Festival and America’s Greatest Chicken Wing Party.
The year was 2001. Drew Cerza was just about to take the recycling out to the curb at his house in suburban Buffalo. As he picked up the recycling bin, he noticed an article at the top of the pile of newspapers by Buffalo News City Columnist Donn Esmonde advocating for a new National Buffalo Wing Festival.
The movie Osmosis Jones had just been released, and the main character played by Bill Murray had made plans to visit Buffalo for the Wingfest. It made for great cinematic fodder, but there was a catch – no such festival existed exist in real life. Cerza, who had a decades-long career in business and marketing and a love for wings, was inspired by Esmonde’s column and took it upon himself to launch the inaugural National Buffalo Wing Festival the following year.
As the festival grew over the years, so did Cerza’s identity as the “Wing King” of Buffalo. He became one of the city’s most recognizable ambassadors with his cape and oversize novelty chicken wing hat and has appeared on a host of television shows. These appearances include the Food Network’s “Unwrapped,” “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” and “Emeril Lagasse Live;” the Travel Channel’s “Bar Food Paradise,” “Taste of America,” and “Food Wars;” NBC’s “The Today Show,” ABC’s “”The View” and “Regis and Kelly;” CBS’ “Morning Show;” FOX Network’s “Fox and Friends;” PBS and the BBC.
The “Wing King” is thrilled to enter this new chapter in 2020 and leverage his relationships with national media to continue promoting one of America’s favorite foods – and the effort to raise donations for Food Banks nationwide.