Doctors on standby at curry competition
By Neil Pooran
A TEAM of doctors will attend this year’s Scottish curry eating competition after last year’s event put two people in hospital.
The medics will join first aiders from the Red Cross in making sure over-ambitious contestants at the Edinburgh competition do not end up in the back of an ambulance.
Despite last year’s hospitalisations, interest has been so strong organisers have had to limit the contest to 10 gutsy curry-lovers.
Kismot curry house in Edinburgh have had to whittle down dozens of applicants for the title of Curry King or Queen.
Staff have even been carrying out “background checks” on contestants to establish their level of experience with spicy food.
In October last year, the restaurant’s “Kismot Killer”, which uses an eye-watering blend of some of the world’s hottest chillies, put two contestants in hospital and left othes retching in the street outside.
Runner-up Curie (corr) Kim, an Edinburgh University student was rushed to hospital and said eating the curry was like “being chainsawed in the stomach with hot sauce on the chainsaw”.
Entrants to the Curry King or Queen Contest, on October 27, have to sign a disclaimer before they can take part in the competition, which will include a Labour MP and a body-building nurse as judges.
After paying a £25 entry fee, they will have to battle through three rounds of eating increasingly fiery bowls of curry, the hottest of which uses fearsome naga chillis.
The peppers have previously been recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the hottest in the world, and chefs need gas masks to protect them from fumes while cooking.
In the event of a tie, the winner will be decided in a one minute eat-as-much-as-you-can contest.
In a sadistic twist, a pint of milk will be placed before each contestant and anyone who fails to resist the soothing drink will be disqualified.
Entrants who vomit or sneakily coat their tongues before taking part will also be disqualified.
Abdul Ali, 27, who runs the restaurant with his brother, Akbar, said: “We’re going to have to narrow it down to 10 people because demand was so high.”
He said the money raised on the night will be donated to the Scottish Ambulance Service, which ferried last year’s casualties to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Ambulance chiefs said the restaurant needed to manage any future events better.
Abdul said he wanted to “apologise for last year and show they’re doing a good job”.
He counts several doctors among his regular customers and said two had volunteered to turn up and discreetly monitor contestants for signs they were getting into trouble.
“If the contestants don’t look well, if they look like they’re in trouble, they’re going to throw in the towel for that person,” said Abdul.
Chilli lovers from as far afield as Canada – including one nicknamed the “Chilli Guy” – have expressed interest in taking part.
The judges include Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray and Edinburgh boxer Alex Arthur, as well as award-winning bodybuilding nurse Laura Irving.
The reigning Curry Queen Beverly Jones, 53, will not be defending her title but will be present at the event to hand over the crown.
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