Ramone Dickerson and Corey Simmons have reinvented the wheel. Okay, not the wheel, but the chicken wing. The two best friends have taken the ordinary chicken wing and figured out a way to stuff it full of tasty goodness. Imagine a big wing packed with jalapeno and cheddar on the inside. Or a loaded baked potato. Or jambalaya or banana pudding…They own 2 Fat 2 Fly, a food truck in Columbia, South Carolina where they sell these beautiful, beautiful wings and have landed a new show on the Oprah Winfrey Network that follows their pursuit of chicken wing dominance. We talked with the two chicken wing visionaries about stuffing chicken, reality TV, and prom night.
Wingmen launches on OWN August 16th. Check out the preview and Paste interview below.
Paste: Okay, so where do you get off tampering with a near perfect food like the chicken wing?
Corey: I guess there was a level of narcissism to it. We thought we could make something that’s already good even better.
Was there a light bulb moment where you decided the standard chicken wing just wasn’t cutting it anymore?
Ramone: Definitely. There was a dirt trail, a rickety bridge, and billy goat with a cane. There was a toll to pass. One thing led to another, we figured the snack food we were eating to nourish us on this journey, would be better if we stuffed it.
Paste: That’s cryptic. Was it love at first sight, or was there a lot of trial and error involved?
Ramone: The first one we tried was jalapeno, bacon and cheddar. After we tried it, we were literally jumping up and down. Because we knew if it worked, it would be amazing…so amazing that it probably won’t work. But we got it on the first try. We tweaked some stuff, messing with ratios and cooking process, but essentially, it was great from the start. Once we realized we could bite into this wing and have an ample amount bacon, jalapeno and cheddar, it was eye opening…It was like prom night, if you know what I’m saying.
Paste: What’s your process? How do you get the good stuff inside the chicken wing?
Corey: It’s kind of like a first date. You’re nervous and you’re excited all at the same time. You have to be confident in your abilities, but you gotta be cool about it. You treat the meat to a nice time.
Ramone: Not enough people go on dates with chicken. We dated chicken for a long time and we scored.
Corey: Yeah, it’s a process that has been perfected by Ramone and myself. We’re not giving that away so easily.
Paste: What’s your favorite wing?
Corey: The Jambalaya is my favorite. Jambalaya rice and smoked sausage on the inside. It’s amazing.
Ramone: Sucker punch—jalapeno, bacon and cheddar. It doesn’t get any better.
Paste: Did you ever try stuffing a wing with something that just didn’t work out?
Corey: One time, I wanted to cater to a college crowd. I had this bright idea: “Hey, how about we take ramen noodles, cook them up, stuff them in the wing and sprinkle the seasoning on top.” We put the noodles in the wings, sprinkled the seasoning on. It didn’t translate well. It was like a chicken with mush on the inside.
Paste: How did the show with the Oprah Network come about?
Ramone: We were on Eat Street produced by Paperny Entertainment. We had a segment on there a few years ago, and the Oprah Network liked the concept. We spent a few years getting to know each other and were able to come up with a concept that follows Corey and I in our pursuit of the American Dream.
Paste: What’s it like having a reality show?
Ramone: It’s the most bizarre thing in the entire world. It’s cool. You’ll never see us in the corner crying and saying “we didn’t ask for this.” We think it’s fun and we appreciate the opportunity. Being able to take thousands of people on this journey is special.
Corey: It’s not just jokes and chicken wings. It’s more than that. This show looks at the true American spirit, the pursuit of happiness that we’ve undertaken. We just happen to be pursuing it with chicken wings and food truck.