Dining With Denise Neil

Watch as six Wichita diners melt under the heat of a Thai-hot food eating contest

Some like it Thai Hot

Bann Thai restaurant owner Wanwaree Jackson decided to a have a spicy food eating contest after seeing similar competitions on the Food Network. She found six competitors, most of them regulars, who decided to brave her Thai hot recipe.
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Bann Thai restaurant owner Wanwaree Jackson decided to a have a spicy food eating contest after seeing similar competitions on the Food Network. She found six competitors, most of them regulars, who decided to brave her Thai hot recipe.

There was pain.

There was sweating.

And when it was all over, there were Popsicles.

On Friday evening, Bann Thai owner Wanwaree Jackson — who has a reputation for making Wichita’s spiciest Thai food — put on a spicy food eating contest in her restaurant at 3811 W. 13th St. North.

She signed up six people, some of them regular customers, and she prepared for each one of them a plate of her Thai basil chicken made with her most deadly spice rating — Thai hot. The level of spice in Thai hot is so extreme, she usually warns her customers off of it and limits herself to eating it once a month.

Those gathered to watch the competitors chow down saw fear, sweating and pain. In the end, the winner was Cohen Martinez, who plowed through his plate in 20 minutes with minimal groaning.

“I think the vegetables really held me back from eating it faster,” he said. “That’s a lot to chew through. But it was delicious.”

Martinez wins a $50 gift certificate to eat again at Bann Thai — when he will have the right to choose his own spiciness level.

The contestants were offered Popsicles to cool their burning mouths when it was all over.

The Eagle’s Fernando Salazar was there to capture the contest and made an entertaining video report. Among the highlights are scenes of the kitchen staff nearly choking over the Thai hot fumes circulating as Jackson cooks.

Enjoy.

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