NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – At International Wings Factory on the Upper East Side, the mission is singular.
“All we do here is: We serve wings,” said chef-owner Deepak Ballaney.
He blends globally-sourced spices into 18 house-made sauces.
“It’s America, so the most popular sauce is the Buffalo sauce,” he said. “Second most popular sauce would be the garlic-parmesan, which is like a beurre blanc, literally a butter-cream sauce.”
“For me, a [perfect] wing has a nice crispy outside, juicy inside,” he said. “Sauce enhances the flavor of the wing, but go and order a naked wing. That’s when you get all your answers.”
“Wings [used to be] the worst part of the chicken. Nobody ate them. Now, wings are the most expensive part of the chicken, I think.”
What prompted the change?
“America has changed that. NFL has changed that.”
Deepak trained at the Culinary Institute of America and built a career in the kitchens of high-end restaurants. But his love for the chicken wing ultimately called him away from the world of fine dining.
“I can’t even say the chicken wing is just a fast food, or just a game-night food, or just a food for a casual gathering. It is a food that brings a whole community together,” he said.
“We go through about 2,000 wings in a day from this little location that we have. So that’s average 12 wings per person. That is a lot of people that we serve in a day and through the year.”
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Thankfully, Deepak has a good wingman.
“Every time he comes up with a flavor sauce, he’ll wake me up at 2:00 in the night,” said co-owner Vidhi Ballaney, Deepak’s wife. “He’ll say, ‘Can you just try this sauce?’ And I’ll be like, ‘Seriously? At this time? Now?'”
“She’s the backbone of the place,” Deepak said. “And she’s the one who kicks my butt to get it done.”
“A family who works together stays together,” Vidhi said.
“Every day is a challenge, but it’s definitely made us stronger.”
International Wings Factory
1762 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10128
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