TOO HOT: Chilli food challenge that only the strong survive

Chef Ryan Daruca and bar manager Hazel Jenkins at the Green Ant Cantina with a serving of Wings of Death. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Chef Ryan Daruca and bar manager Hazel Jenkins at the Green Ant Cantina with a serving of Wings of Death. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

WHEN you're thinking about a relaxing way to spend your Friday evening, eating chilli-covered wings hot enough to burn your fingertips probably isn't what first comes to mind.

If you are up for the challenge though, Green Ant Cantina prides itself on having Cairns' craziest food challenge.

Green Ant Cantina owner Tony Birmingham said the challenge to eat ten chilli-covered chicken wings was dreamt up more than a decade ago, but got progressively harder as time went on.

"Every year a new chilli is named the hottest in the world. Last year it was the Carolina Reaper. The Guinness World Records names the chilli and then we add it to our sauce," he said.

"The chefs wear plastic gloves and eye protection when they're preparing the food.

"When the plates are taken back to the kitchen we put them in a separate area, and then the bar is wiped down with methylated spirits and damp towels which are immediately thrown out."

He said people were literally hospitalised when trying to rip through the chicken wings to get their face on the Wings of Death Wall of Flame.

"We've had ambulances called, people go to hospital, some people faint," he said.

"We had one guy who had a bucks party the day before his wedding. The next day the wedding was almost called off and he had to be carried in and out of the limo. His wife still doesn't speak to the best man."

When the challenge is won - which only happens once in every couple of hundred attempts - the cantina goes wild.

"We play Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire, we have an old-school bell that we ring, people hoot and holler. It's a big deal," Mr Birmingham said.

Topics:  eating food offbeat

News Corp Australia

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