Published: September 29, 2013
Video: New chilli-eating champion crowned at Burnham Food Festival

With cooling pints of milk at hand, contestants braved the feared 'Dorset Naga' during the first-ever chilli-eating competition in Burnham-On-Sea on Saturday.

Part of Burnham's Food and Drink Festival, it was the ultimate test for chilli fans to find out whether they could withstand the burn of some of the hottest food known to man.

Ten contestants took on 12 rounds of chillies, each getting progressively hotter, with several dropping out along the way.

Bridgwater resident Marc Brion, 35, right, was crowned the first champion of the 'Great Burnham Burn Off'. He told "I like spicy food, but I have never eaten anything as hot as these chillis before - my mouth felt as though it was on fire!"

"It's the first time I've ever entered a contest like this, so I'm really pleased to have won. It was my son who talked me into taking part."

Several of the competitors took on the infamous 'Dorset Naga' chilli but did not go beyond the 'Butch T Scorpion' chilli pepper, which has a Scoville rating of 1.4m.

Expert organiser Chilli Dave, from The Clifton Chilli Club, said: "The chillis started out relatively mild and then got hotter and hotter. We had people taking on the Dorset Naga which is ridiculously hot."

"A competition like this is only for the truly dedicated - you start with a runny nose, then your eyes start to run and then you touch your face and that starts to burn as well."

The unique event was watched by a big crowd of onlookers in College Street where a stage was set-up for The Clifton Chilli Club to run the event with sponsorship from retailer The Chillees.


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