I love a confident chef. Not of the David Chang, prestigious restaurant ilk (though they’re fun, too), but rather the Bagelrito-innovating variety who toil in relative obscurity to bring us all the great snack foods of our age. And Business Insider might have found the next great visionary: Buffalo Wild Wings’ executive chef, Jamie Carawan.
BI shadowed Carawan this week for a small feature on the Buffalo Wild Wings chicken sandwich. If it sounds like one more bandwagon entry in the chicken sandwich wars, Carawan is quick to point out that his restaurant’s sandwich was already being market tested by the time the Popeyes chicken sandwich went national in August 2019. The BWW iteration is offered as a Southern Chicken Sandwich, a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, and a Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich, and the beer-battered, hand-breaded chicken is what this chef believes sets his sandwiches apart from the now infamous Popeyes product.
“I still think my chicken sandwich is way better,” Carawan told Business Insider. “I think the breading is better and I think our Nashville hot chicken sandwich is something that is extremely flavorful, high-quality, and I think we’re doing some really good things there.” He’s confident, enthusiastic, and unmistakably defensive about his chicken, a combination that makes it hard to look away.
If there’s a B-dubs near you, consider ordering up this sandwich just to see where it ranks in the poultry pantheon. Because if Chef Carawan is to be believed, there’s a chance we’re missing out on something world-endingly great here: “I’d put them up against any other sports bar or any other chicken sandwich for that matter.” Nothing matters quite like confidence.