The 7th Annual Hot Pepper Eating Contest was held on October 3rd at The Cookery. Every year this event draws more people – spectators and participants alike.
The afternoon begins with a Chili Cook-Off. Chilli of all kinds are submitted and judged anonymously for the Hottest and Best Overall Flavor. Chilli has run the gamut over the years – from beef, chicken, and bean – to moose, bear, venison and reptile.
After “warming up” with the chilli and mass quantities of beer, the pepper contenders don their custom t-shirts and sit at a long table reminiscent of the “last supper.” Participants can consume as much white bread as they want….and drink as much beer or wine as they want to try to diffuse the heat; but they must eat the entire pepper (excluding the stem) in the time allotted.
The first round begins with at the lowest end of the Scoville Heat Scale and builds up to one of the highest – the Habañero. This year, nine different kinds of hot peppers were included (including some pilfered from Dominica!). As the tears flow and tongues burn, participants who can’t stand the heat bow out to signify their lack of tolerance and get a baby bottle with milk…oh….the relief of the burn with milk!
Watching the contest is definitely entertainment – facial expressions, moans, cries, and belly-clutching are only amplified by the continuous flow of alcohol (which only heightens the pain!).
The winner of the contest receives the coveted “Pepper Trophy” and $100. They also get to name the Hot Pepper Sauce (complete with photo) that ATTC makes from the remaining pepper bounty.
This year, we are pleased to announce the first female winner – Raechel Brown – a member of our event culinary team. Throughout the year, she will proudly display her Pepper Trophy and gear up to defend her title next year!