ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Behind the Scenes" series, we preheat the ovens and begin cooking 36,000 chicken wings for WingFest on Saturday.

Before the feasting can begin a week long cooking spree starts for the staff at Shortstop Custom Catering.

Sous Chef John Skuza says they make about 6,000 wings a day during the week and it all starts with some light seasoning.

"It just helps the chicken. After we mix it in we spread them across the trays so they all get baked up, then they are ready to go in the oven," says Skuza.

The wings cook for about a half hour before they are put in the fridge to cool until the morning of the event.

"We will have about five employees working on the wings cause running the broasters up front because that's 24,000 wings going at once while the restaurant is running and kicking out orders," says Skuza.

On Saturday morning the wings are taken out of the cooler, put into trays and thrown into the broasters for about three minutes.

"We have one frier we use that can make about 100 wings an hour, and then we use each of the three broasters which kicks out 375 wings and hour," says Skuza.

When the wings are done they a set to cool for a minute before being loaded into boxes and sent to the event.

"We start making sure they are in boxes by 3:00 p.m. so the contestants have time to do their thing," says Skuza.

Once the wings arrived contestants cover them with sauce and the food is ready for your enjoyment.

The seventh annual WingFest event will run from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday at Sports Arena East Building at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

Wings wait to get sauced for annual WingFest event. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)