It’s summer! Our office is swarming with interns! So when a press release plopped in the old inbox announcing a preview tasting of Chick-fil-A’s new Spicy Chicken Sandwich, we perused the credentials of our new workers. Hark! Victoria Guida has the cred—she is currently a student at the University of Missouri where she is perusing a double major in journalism and political science. Oh, and a minor in psychology. She will be an excellent food writer. Here is her first ever report.
After receiving an internship at D Magazine, I was ready for anything. I was a little surprised, though, when my boss assigned me an event before I’d even stepped into the building.
My assignment: cover an event promoting the new Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich. An unusual task, to be sure, but why not?
The day after my orientation, I headed to the Richards Group office building to taste the sandwich that would officially hit restaurants on June 7. (As you well know, the Richards Group is the advertising agency that came up with the slogan “Eat Mor Chikin” and has since milked the idea for all it’s worth.)
Jump with her.
As I stepped off the elevator, I was immediately greeted by a large cow with the sign “Weer fired up over spicee chikin” around its neck and the sound of loud jazz music. People to my left were taking pictures with another cow.
I was handed a large red bag of goodies, and yes, I am now the proud owner of a little stuffed cow and a cow Pez dispenser.
About 70 or 80 people filled the large room. They were mostly sales and marketing people from Chick-fil-A and media people. The jazz music was live—the band included a bass, a sax, and a piano. Everyone schmoozed for a while, until Stan Richards, founder of Richards Group, started speaking on a stairwell that ascended over the room.
Stan and Chick-fil-A corporate PR guy Don Perry spoke about the 16-year partnership between the Richards Group and Chick-fil-A and how pleased they all were to be there.
Although this was nice to hear, there was really just one thing we were all waiting on: the new sandwiches. I don’t handle spicy food as well as some people, but I would not be cowed into missing this opportunity. I opened up the package—eager since I hadn’t eaten yet that day—and bit into the sandwich.
Classic Chick-fil-A chicken taste, spicy aftertaste. And it was spicy—enough that a woman walking by me blinked hard and mouthed “wow” after biting into it, but not enough for me to need more than one glass of lemonade.
In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t like pickles, so I removed the only ingredient of the sandwich other than chicken and bread. I am told that a deluxe version with lettuce, tomato, and Pepper Jack cheese will also be offered on the menu when the sandwich comes out.
Don Perry proudly told me that this sandwich is made with entirely new equipment to keep the spicy seasoning for the spicy chicken separate from the regular chicken—a multi-million dollar investment. He would not tell me the recipe, except to describe it as a “blend of firey peppers and seasoning.”
Ultimately, I had fun and everyone partied until the cows went home.
In case you were wondering:
• Cost: $2.99 (deluxe version will be $3.59)
• Calories: 450 (deluxe version is 540)