Hot Wing Eating Contest Sunday at O’Brien’s
by Samantha Wright
Sep 06, 2012 | 2038 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOT STUFF – Khris Dunham of Khristopher’s Culinaire shows off some of the ingredients he will use in preparing the sauces for this Sunday’s hot wing eating contest at O’Brien’s Pub and Grill. (Photo by Samantha Wright)
HOT STUFF – Khris Dunham of Khristopher’s Culinaire shows off some of the ingredients he will use in preparing the sauces for this Sunday’s hot wing eating contest at O’Brien’s Pub and Grill. (Photo by Samantha Wright)
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OURAY – There will be a hot mess at O’Brien’s Pub and Grill in Ouray this Sunday, Sept. 9 as a hot-wing eating contest benefiting the Ouray Mountain Rescue Team gets underway there at 6 p.m.

“It’s a fun way for people to get together and benefit a local nonprofit...and watch other people go through a great deal of pain,” explained contest co-sponsor Khris Dunham of Khristopher’s Culinaire, a kitchen specialty store in Ouray.

The contest consists of three rounds in which contestants must eat a predetermined amount of hot wings within a certain period of time. The first to finish move on to the next round. In each round, the wing sauce gets progressively hotter. The first three to make it through their wings in the final round will be declared the winners.

Dunham, a trained chef, plans to make the wing sauces himself. The world’s hottest pepper will be a featured ingredient in all three batches. Naga Jolokia, commonly known as ghost pepper, is native to India but now also cultivated in the United States.

In his store, Dunham carries a whole line of hot sauces that feature the evil little pepper.

“The first round will have an extremely hot wing sauce with extra Naga Jolokia added to it, which will make it uncomfortable,” Dunham said. “The second round will have the very hot wing sauce, with a really hot hot sauce and pure Naga Jolokia powder. That cranks it up another notch. The third round has the really hot wing sauce, really hot hot sauce, hot sauce extract, Naga Jolokia powder and dried rehydrated Naga Jolokia pods.”

Just how hot will that last sauce be?

“It’s insane,” Dunham shuddered. “It’s awful. It’s awful.”

Dunham is speaking from experience. He got second place the first time O’Brien’s held a hot- wing eating contest in 2010. Mark Hitchcox, a Ridgway realtor, came in third that year, and a ringer from Las Vegas stole the show.

“By the time you make it to the third round, you’ve got tears running down your face,” Dunham recalled. “You’re choking, because the fumes are going up your nose. It’s hard to breathe. You almost have to hold your nose to eat them. It’s idiotic, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Contest participants cannot have any health problems, and must sign a waiver to get into the contest. A paramedic will be standing by.

A few other rules: No drinking during the round. No wiping sauce off the wings. Contestants must eat at least 90 percent of each wing. Any visible signs of sickness will result in disqualification.

“Nobody got sick last time, at least at the contest,” Dunham said. “ I was good until about 2 a.m. Then things started to get a little rough.”

To get in on the action, stop by O’Brien’s Pub, where registration is currently underway. The contest is open to the first 20 people who sign up. There is a $10 registration fee, and participants must be 18 or older to enter. The top three winners will receive gift baskets filled with, among other things, a special edition Blueberry Naga Jolokia hot sauce from renowned Front Range hot sauce maker Danny Cash.

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