Thursday, 30 March 2017

Video: Man Vs Food comes to Henley

SIX food lovers went head-to-head in an eating competition at a Henley pub.

Click here to view our video of the event

The men had an hour to consume four 8oz burgers, two roasted turkey wings and a mountain of chips.

To make it even harder, the wings were marinated in a dressing made from scotch bonnet chillis.

The contest, called Man v Food, was inspired by the American reality television show of the same name and devised by Will Shaw, head chef at the Little Angel.

The contenders also had to polish off a side dish of scotch bonnet sauce containing a raw chilli.

They were given glasses of milk to cool their mouths and rubber gloves to protect their hands.

The pub also provided each of them with a bucket in case they were taken ill during the challenge.

The event was witnessed by about 40 friends and family of the six men who cheered them on and took photographs.

Each man started with more than 3kg of food.

Micky Molloy, 26, of Upton Close, Henley, caused screams of disgust as he dunked his burgers in the milk to make them easier to swallow. Mr Molloy, a scrum-half for the Henley Bulls rugby team, was the only man who ate the whole scotch bonnet, eating it in a single mouthful and then struggling to talk for more than five minutes afterwards.

The contest was won by 32-year-old Simon Wan, from Wokingham, who takes part in eating challenges around the UK under the nickname Hungry Ronin.

Chris Emmett, 25, from Hambleden, came second and James Harding, 23, of Ancastle Green, Henley, was third. The other contenders were Hugo Gentilli, 24, of King’s Road, Henley, and Matt Munson, 34, from Harpsden.

Mr Wan, a former restaurateur, sat quietly throughout the hour, consuming small mouthfuls quickly and rocking from side to side to aid his digestion.

Nobody finished their whole meal but Mr Wan’s leftovers were the lightest at 1.35kg when they were weighed at the end of the hour.

He was presented with a T-shirt and a trophy. Mr Wan said: “I could have done a lot better — I was hoping to finish it all.”

Twenty-eight people had put themselves forward when the competition was announced last month.

The pub drew 10 names at random to take part but four dropped out before the event on Thursday night last week.

Manager Christopher Young said: “It was a great evening and we’ll definitely do it again next year. It’s something a bit different for Henley. It was fantastic to see all those people cheering their friends on. Some people came, even though they didn’t know anyone taking part, because they were intrigued.”

Mr Young said he would have been no good at the challenge himself, adding: “I would have been lucky to eat one leaf of lettuce on one of those plates.”

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