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This New Food Festival Is an Ode to the Chicken Strip

Chicken tender fanatics often live out their passion in silence. The dish can draw some serious side-eyes if ordered for dinner during a night out. Once the age has passed where “being picky” is a legitimate excuse for not wanting to try new menu items, the childhood favorite is usually reserved for the occasional bar order or desperate fast food buy. But, those crunchy breaded chicken strips are loved by most for a reason — they’re easily made and moldable to just about any profile. 

Later this month in Los Angeles, tenders will be getting the recognition they deserve, when Off the Menu and John Terzian of the H.Wood Group will be teaming up to throw the city’s first TenderFest at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on November 15. The festival aims to show off the tender’s full potential by bringing together some of the area’s top chicken vendors, including Delilah, Fuku, Raising Cane’s, Hot Mutha Clucker, CAULIPOWER, and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken.

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Additionally, famed chefs Nancy Silverton, Wolfgang Puck, Chris Oh, and Timothy Hollingsworth will each be crafting their interpretation of a tender to serve in front of a panel of judges. The winner of this showdown will be gifted a cash prize to give to a charity of their choice. 

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Tickets for TenderFest are available now for $65, which pays for unlimited tenders and beer. The VIP tickets, which run for $175, also include the food and booze, as well as event merchandise, a VIP lounge, access to VIP-only vendor Dave’s Hot Chicken, a gift bag, and a 6 month membership to Off the Menu.

Off the Menu has been throwing dope food-focused events for a while now, and is a consistent source for innovative and creative flavors, which stands out in a Southern California culinary universe that can tend to stagnate on flavor-of-the-month trends.