Like spice? These four innocent-looking wings are so hot, you have to sign a disclaimer!
By Danni Levy
Photography by Simon Howard
Man Vs Food opened its doors in 2014 in Isleworth, London. Tens of thousands of diners have attempted to complete various food challenges set by the venue, with the highest success rate being attributed to the ‘Fire in the Hole’. Proprietors estimate ‘a few hundred’ guests have finished all four naga ghost chili hot wings, although the exact number is unknown.
Containing approximately twelve million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), the wings must be consumed with no drinking or wiping of the face. Contenders must accept all liability for any discomfort or illness arising from the challenge, which has thus far resulted in three heart attacks due to non-disclaimed heart problems. Thankfully, no one has died, and most attempts lead to non-serious reactions such as sweating, a runny nose, crying, and vomiting.
“It’s very rare we see extremely bad side effects, but that really does depend on the person as some have tried the sauce and not reacted at all,” say the owners. “We even had one brave lady finish the ‘Fire in the Hole’ twice in one day, so it all comes down to the individual’s chili tolerance. Man Vs Food offers six further challenges, such as a 3.5kg ‘Belly Buster’ burger and meter-long hot dog, which don’t come with as many risks! Competitive eaters Randy Santel, Leah Shutkever, and Kyle V Food have all made visits, along with many famous faces such as Eddie Hall and Tim Burton.
Muscle and health decided to put two famous faces’ penchant for hot food to the test as they went head- to-head over a meal they’d never forget
TOWIE’s James Lock and Love Island’s Theo Campbell both claim to turn up the heat when it comes to menu choice. “I love spice,” Theo told us. “If I have an Indian it’s usually a vindaloo. I didn’t think the challenge would be half as difficult as it was. I only managed one wing and the heat was insane. It even made the milk they gave us afterwards taste off. I had to eat ice cream to calm my mouth down. I’m gutted I didn’t complete it, but I still beat Lockie!”
Theo is beach body ready all-year-round but confesses he’s fortunate on the gene front.
“I eat four decent meals a day, but my morning go-to is crispy crunch cereal and in the evening, I love canned tuna with Super Noodles,” he reveals. “I train three times a week, but I hate cardio, so I just lift weights to stay in shape”
James works hard in the gym, but nothing could have prepared his body for the ultimate Man Vs Food test of the taste buds. “I thought I was receptive to spicy food but obviously I was wrong,” he reported. “I’ve never had anything like it. My abs were on fire. I gave up and necked milk and ice cream like it was going out of fashion. I could never do that challenge, I’ve no idea how anyone has completed it. I love curry or a Nando’s hot sauce, but that was something else!
“Every day I do fasted cardio then have a breakfast shake. Lunch is basic, so chicken or fish with rice and so is dinner. I cheat on weekends. I combine my cardio with full body weight workouts. I also do MMA and boxing training.”
Think you can beat the ‘Fire in the Hole’? For a full list of challenges and to book, visit @manvsfoodlondon
THE NAGA GHOST CHILI, OR GHOST PEPPER IS CULTIVATED IN NORTHEAST INDIA
In 2007, Guinness World Records certified that the ghost pepper was the world’s hottest chili pepper, 170 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. The ghost chili is rated at more than one million Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). However, in the race to grow the hottest pepper, the ghost chili was superseded by the Trinidad scorpion butch T pepper in 2011 and the Carolina reaper in 2013.