James Webb of Sydney, Australia shocked onlookers by inhaling a world-record 276 Buffalo wings in just 12 minutes at the National Buffalo Wing Festival over Labor Day weekend.
"I’m still in shock. I still don’t believe it," Webb told Fox News Digital after his triumph at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, home of the Buffalo Bills.
"It was mental. Even when George Shea" — co-founder of Major League Eating — "raised my arm, I still couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do."
Webb toppled an American colossus of competitive eating to earn the honor of crown prince of poultry.
FILE - James Webb is crowned champion by "Wing King" Drew Cerza after downing 277 wings in 12 minutes to win the National Chicken Wing Eating Contest on Sept. 3, 2023 at Highmark Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, New York. (John Normile/Getty Images)
Joey Chestnut, the 16-time winner of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eat Contest on Coney Island, finished second with 240 wings consumed.
"It was an honor to stand up there and compete in the same contest as Joey," Webb said.
"He’s the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) of eating. I idolize the guy. He’s just a good dude."
Added the Aussie, "The fact I beat Joey, even saying it out loud. It blows my mind."
Webb annihilated an incredible average of 23 wings per minute during the heated competition before thousands of cheering fans on the field at Highmark Stadium.
His technique, he said, is to put the entire wing in his mouth, then pull out the end, swiftly denuding the bone with his teeth like a primitive god of gastronomic brutality.
He quickly mashes the delectable spicy meat bits left behind into a semi-digestible form before swallowing.
Webb’s triumph on United States soil over the nation’s digestion deities showed that delicious, sizzling all-American hot wings, first served at Buffalo’s Anchor Bar in 1964, now enjoy international prestige.
The National Buffalo Wing Festival this year featured deep-fried poultry parts from eateries in both Mexico and Iceland.
"Buffalo wings have obviously gone worldwide over the last 60 years," beamed Buffalo native, National Buffalo Wing Festival founder and "Wing King" Drew Cerza.
Mexico restaurant chain Wings Army has now participated in the festival for six years in a row and has grown into the poultry poster child of American-style hot wings in other nations.
"It’s the Buffalo Wild Wings of Mexico," said Cerza.
"All the elements of wings — spice, fried chicken — all these things are very Mexican," Ricardo, a Buffalo wing fan from Mexico City, told Vice.com in a 2018 profile of Wings Army.
"Mexicans love their fried, spicy s--t. I’d be proud if someone married Mexican culture and Buffalo wings together."
The festival, Cerza said, also welcomed Just Wingin’ It of Reykjavík, Iceland for the first time this year.
"This year’s festival was the highest energy we ever had," said Cerza of the event he founded in 2002.
"The restaurants had energy. The attendees had energy. The weather was perfect. And now we’re seeing places in other countries really starting to thrive," he said.
"I’m proud. Very proud," Cerza also said.