I get asked all the time, “Alex, why do you do the crazy things you do like food competitions?” I tell them that besides enjoying pain and suffering, I actually enjoy chowing down the food. That brings me to this past Saturday’s event held at Hypnotic Donuts in East Dallas – The Spicy Chile Donut Eating Contest. I normally cancel everything to commit and do as many food competitions as possible but due to the conflicting dates of a pre-existing event, I was not going to attend the donut challenge. So I thought. I must admit that I was a tad saddened about not being able to compete in the Spicy Donut competition, but that all changed Friday morning.
I received news Friday from a friend that we were in fact not going on our planned trip and quickly made the decision to email Hypnotic Donuts to sign up for the challenge. The owner of Hypnotic, James, responded quickly and confirmed I had a spot in the competition. It was on.
The day of the challenge I focused like I normally do on working out. Burning some calories and getting my sweat on has proven to work best for me before my food competitions. I knew that this challenge wasn’t going to be easy, therefore I needed to push myself harder during my 5 mile run. All I could think about during my run was donuts. How was I to take down my competition with last minute changes to my plans? Better yet, hot and spicy donuts – are you kidding me?
Competitors and non-competitors walked into Hypnotic Donuts all asking the same questions: What time is the event? What donuts will you be serving? How hot and spicy will the donuts be? Who are the competitors? As I heard all the chatter, I was concentrating on staying calm and not being nervous. As I do at every food competition, I grabbed for my red bandana. I glanced around the room at the other fellow eaters and noticed that I was the only one stretching. Apparently, putting on a bandana makes you a ‘serious’ competitor, as I was told by everyone at the event.
As I sat at the table, impatiently waiting and staring down my competition, I couldn’t resist the spicy fumes penetrating my nose and mouth. People that were gathered around our tables were also feeling the vapors rising from our donuts that James had patiently set before us. The intense smell from the donuts made some gatherers move slightly back. I knew this challenge would be in the bag once I saw other competitors squinting and smirking at the donuts.
As James laid out the ground rules, I quickly developed a plan of attack to tackle on the donuts. The plan was simple – start with the first hottest donut while moving up in terms of degree of spiciness then saving the non-spicy donut (glazed) for last. The first spicy donut consisted of jalapenos with tabasco drizzled on top. The spicy donuts consisted of such: Mexico – jalapenos with tabasco drizzled on top, Hell Fire – jalapenos, serranos, habaneros with cayenne pepper on top, and the finally the evil of them all, the Devils Dance – habaneros, serranos, cayenne, jalapenos with ghost pepper frosting.
The Mexico and Hell Fire were not bad at all considering all the hellacious toppings at first bite. But it was the Devils Dance that brought the heat and pain on. I couldn’t resist but to think of the moments I was gassed with CS ‘riot control’ gas while in the military in comparison with how I was feeling at that very moment. Devils Dance brought out my body’s defense system rapidly. I was quickly drenched in sweat, tears and snot. I quickly glanced around at my fellow competitors and noticed that some were giving up and only a few were still sticking around for the agony. The final minutes for the countdown confirmed that I had in fact had a few donuts in the bag for the win – no pun intended.
Alas, after the seconds were counted down, I had won the inaugural Spicy Chili Donut Eating Contest. The suffering I encountered from the donuts brought me outside to gather some fresh air. I was quickly handed a milk, beer, trophy and medal for my accomplishment from James in that order. Bryan Conrood, a fellow craveDFW contributor, came up to congratulate me on this feat but instead notified me of a bloody nose. The intensity and amount of spicy heat that I had just ingested had made my blood vessels in my nose pop. Folks, when you have to wear gloves and sign a waiver, you know the heat is on; but when you have a nose bleed, you know it was gruesome challenge.
Starting this week you will be able to read the exploits of Alex Perez as he searches Dallas and Fort Worth for the perfect taco. We will also continue to check in on his food challenges as they come up. We welcome Edgar as one of the newest members of the craveDFW team.