Yesterday I did my first ever radio interview. It was with Tom Dunne from News Talk Ireland in Dublin. He reached out to me last week after reading about my wing project. The chat was originally supposed to take place on Monday, but it got bumped back because the leader of their country was about to get kicked out of office – true story. I don’t follow Irish politics closely, but this was worthy of a little research. Ireland’s leader is Prime Minister Brian Cowen. Apparently, party lawmakers were unhappy with his handling of Ireland’s debt crisis forcing an early election. In September he was accused of being drunk and hungover during a radio interview. I like this guy. Anyways, back to my interview.
Since Ireland is 5 hours ahead of me over here on the East coast, the interview took place at 6:40am. That was a challenge for me. Let’s just say I’m not a morning person. The station called and before I knew it I was on the air, live and international!
After the jump is a complete transcription of the interview. It’s a little lengthy, but definitely worth the read. When you’ve finished reading, post your favorite quote in the comments.
Tom: There’s always somebody somewhere doing something nobody else in the world has ever thought of and this year is no different, particularly for one man, Ryan Hohman, who has set himself the task of eating 2,011 chicken wings in the year 2011. This is a fascinating task and it shines a light on food and what’s available in American bars. Much better than ours (Ireland) is all I would say. He joins me on the line now from New York City.
Tom: Ryan, good morning. How are you today?
Ryan: Good morning Tom. I’m doing good. How are you?
Tom: Very well Indeed.
Tom: Did you have any chicken wings last night?
Ryan: Yes, actually I had 10 chicken wings.
Tom: You keep very precise count don’t you?
Ryan: Yes, I count every chicken wing and I’m keeping tallies of them on my website.
Tom: Why did you pick chicken wings?
Ryan: I’m a pretty big sports fan so on the weekends you can always find me in the bars cheering on my favorite teams. Over the years of doing it I have fell in love with chicken wings. I just really can’t get enough of them.
Tom: It sounds like a blissful existence that you have Ryan.
Tom: So how good are the wings in New York City?
Ryan: The wings are really good in New York City. I grew up in a small town in Ohio where there were very few wing options. Then I moved out to New York City about 5 years ago and if you’ve ever been out here there are all kinds of bars and restaurants on every block.
Ryan: It’s a wing-tastic town.
Tom: You walk into a bar and you’ll almost definitely be able to get wings basically.
Ryan: Yeah, pretty much any Irish pub, any sports bar here in the city offers at least one type of wing. Many others offer several sauces: Mild, medium, hot. Some have their own special house sauce.
Tom: Incredible. Tell me about one of these bars. Croxley’s Ales in the East Village. What’s that place like?
Ryan: Croxley’s Ales in the East Village. It’s a low key, laid back pub. Pretty good size. They have a lot of TVs. It’s a big football bar. On Sundays everybody goes there, roots on their favorite teams and eats chicken wings. They have .10 cent wings.
Tom: .10 cent wings!
Ryan: Yeah, .10 cent wings. They’re actually pretty good size for .10 cents. You’d think that they wouldn’t be but they are.
Tom: So, you can get 10 wings for a $1?
Ryan: Yeah, 10 wings for $1. Sometimes we’ll go there and we’ll order 20 wings. You can eat 5 of them and you’re only spending $2.
Tom: Over then to Green Rock in Hoboken. What are they like? What are their wings like?
Ryan: Green Rock in Hoboken. They only offer one sauce. It’s a hot sauce. They’re really meaty. Probably one of the biggest wings I’ve ate since I’ve been out here in New York. Real hot sauce. Really juicy. Really tender. On Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays they offer .35 cent wings.
Tom: .35 cent wings.
Ryan: I’ll eat about 20 in a sitting.
Tom: And what do you say? Knowing that you can get wings like that is part of what draws you into the bar in the first place?
Ryan: Exactly. When you’re out here and you see the specials it’s really hard. Even after I eat my meal when I get home it’s just like a desert or an extra craving. I have to have my wings.
Tom: (Laughs) If you came over to Ireland on holiday and you walked into a bar and they said no wings, no sandwiches, no crisps, no coffee. What would your reaction be?
Ryan: I’d be in shock. I don’t know what I’d do. I didn’t know they didn’t have any wings or sandwiches in the bars out there.
Tom: It’s not every bar but you know, I was in a bar recently and their coffee machine was broken, they’d run out of crisps, and they didn’t do food.
Tom: So you either have a drink or you weren’t staying.
Tom: I’m just wondering. I know you’re the wingman and this is the mission for next year but if you weren’t into wings, the bars do other food as well don’t they? They do burgers and chowders and stuff don’t they?
Ryan: The bars?
Ryan: They do burgers, chicken tenders, potato wedges, quesadillas, mozzarella sticks. Usually those are regular things on the menu.
Tom: And the quality? What’s the quality like?
Ryan: Really good.
Tom: Really good?
Ryan: Yeah, deifnitely.
Tom: You need to eat these wings and then you need to come here and open a bar Ryan. I’m telling you.
Ryan: (Laughs) I would love to.
Ryan: The Ultimate Wingman Irish pub.
Tom: You could be famous.
Tom: 2,011 wings. How many a day do you have to eat?
Ryan: 5.5 a day or 167 a month.
Tom: That’s nothing to you really is it?
Ryan: (Laughs) No. I don’t think I ate 2,011 last year, so this year is going to be a challenge but so far it’s going pretty good.
Tom: I think your biggest challenge is going to be around October/November when you find you’ve already ate 2,011 wings and you have to stop and wait to the end of the year.
Tom: Would you have a drink with these wings?
Ryan: Yes. I usually have a cold beer, water or Coke. It depends on what I’m doing that night.
Tom: Jeesh. You’re life is a bliss, Ryan. It really is.
Tom: Are you a student or what do you do?
Ryan: I’m a web producer for VH1.
Ryan: We make all the websites for the shows on TV.
Tom: OK, great. You do that and weekends head to a bar and eat wings, watch sports?
Ryan: Pretty much. Saturday we go watch college football and on Sundays we go watch NFL football.
Tom: Your life is bliss, Ryan. It really is.
Tom: Your life is bliss. You have no idea.
Tom: Well listen, let us know if you get 2,011 wings and we’ll follow your progress. Thanks very much for joining us Ryan.
Ryan: Definitely. Thanks a lot. You can follow my journey to 2,011 wings at 2011wings.com
Tom: 2011wings.com. Simple as that.
Tom: Thanks very much for joining us and maybe you will be the start of a wing revolution here in Ireland.
Tom: .10 cent to go.
Tom: Honest to god.
Tom: Thanks very much for joining us.