Barefoot Buddha, Winners of the 11th annual King of the Wing Competition Held this Past June in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, Take Their Winning Wings to the Mainland

wing winnerWing Winner

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (September 9, 2022) —The U.S. Virgin Islands, a territory of the United States located in the Caribbean, competed this past weekend at the 20th annual National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York with Barefoot Buddha, reigning culinary champions of the 2022 St. Thomas King of the Wing competition, taking home second place with the Buffalo Media Award “Best in Show.” 

Barefoot Buddha served thousands of wings during the two-day feeding frenzy inviting festival goers to taste four of their distinct sauces, including Cruzan Rum & Coke BBQ, Caribbean Fire, Buddha Belly Chipotle, and the sauce that declared them the winners of the King of the Wing competition, Guava Sweet & Sour.

“A special thank you to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism for sponsoring us. It was such an honor to be part of the National Buffalo Wing Festival,” said Cory Baker, chef-owner of Barefoot Buddha located on the island of St. Thomas. “Our chicken wings are very much a departure from the traditional wings served on the mainland with our sauces embracing the flavor profiles reflective of the Caribbean and, more specifically, the U.S. Virgin Islands. The people of Buffalo were so welcoming telling us that our wings were some of the best they have tasted.”  

Wing WinnerWing Winner

The Labor Day Weekend event, held at Highmark Stadium where the Buffalo Bills battle it out each year during NFL season, featured more than two-dozen restaurants with an estimated 50,000 people in attendance.  Out of all the participating restaurants, Barefoot Buddha traveled the farthest, nearly 2,000 miles, to bring the taste of the U.S. Virgin Islands to the hordes of wing enthusiasts.

“We’re extremely proud of the Barefoot Buddha team for bringing home a trophy,” said Joseph Boschulte, the U.S. Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism.  “To win such an award where the buffalo wing originated is quite a feat. Now it’s our turn to extend our hospitality to the restaurants of Buffalo and beyond inviting them to participate in next year’s King of the Wing competition, June 10, on St. Thomas. Best of all, no passport required for U.S. citizens.”

The 12th annual King of the Wing competition will take place next year on June 10 along the pristine shores of Magens Bay Beach on the island of St. Thomas. The event, which raises money and awareness for charitable causes benefitting residents of the USVI, has restaurants competing for the title of King of the Wing.  There is also an award for the Best Decorated Booth along with a headlining entertainer. For more information about the U.S. Virgin Islands and the King of the Wing competition, visit

Wing Winner



About the U.S. Virgin Islands  

The U.S. Virgin Islands are an official U.S. territory in the Caribbean that consist of three individual islands – St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. Perfect for leisure or business travel, the U.S. Virgin Islands are rich with culture, history, surrounded by breathtaking beaches. When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens can enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel as no passport is required for U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the United States. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are equivalent to entering the United States from any international country. Upon departure, a passport is required for non U.S. citizens. For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to, follow us on Instagram (@visitusvi) and Twitter (@usvitourism), and become a fan on Facebook (