Fiery Foods UK Festival – Event Review

by Darth Naga on October 2, 2009 · 5 comments

in General Information

Right, it’s Monday night, the night after the Brighton “Right, it’s Monday night, the night after the Brighton “Fiery Foods UK Festival” and i have to say I’m still knackered!! It’s been a great weekend and I’ve really enjoyed myself, so i decided to take a slight detour from my usual reviewing style and instead write up a little piece about the festival and how well I believe it went!

Day One – Saturday 19th September

The Naga's

The Naga's

The whole thing started off with myself and Mrs Naga arriving on site around 9am, grabbing our parking permits, parking the Nagamobile and then hot-footing (get it? hahaha…ha…no? okay fine!) it back to the festival arena, first people we met were Miranda and ChilliPepperPete himself, Miranda couldn’t stay long as she had lots to do but we stayed and chatted with Pete for a bit before having a look around and watching everyone set up for the festival!

It wasn’t long before we had met all the usual friendly faces and a few new ones too, we had been introduced to all the Seymour clan (ChilliPepperPete) who were lovely and we had a proper good laugh with Rose and Aaron Seymour as we talked about the upcoming highlights of the day. Myself and Mrs Naga then decided to make ourselves scarce and popped off to grab something to eat and have a sit down while we waited for the day to begin, Gerald Fowler from the chilli pepper company came to sit and chat with us after he had proudly presented me with his latest creation (more on that in another article!), not long after that the gates opened and….nothing!

Disaster had struck, the AA had put out the signs for the FFUK festival that were a year old!! they displayed the dates and times as “11am till 6pm 20th and 21st of Sept” so not only were the dates wrong, but the time advertised was an hour later!!

SO with things off to a slow start people started to get a little worried, but as with anything chilli related, things soon started heating up!!

A little later that day i was asked to do the task i had come all this way for, be one of the panel of judges for the “National Chilli Awards” alongside Karl from Scorchio and Dany Lamote, the head chef from “Hotel California”! After a little while of sampling the many products, poor Dany had to go and do a cookery demo nearby so me and Karl soldiered on joined by the ever lovely Mrs Naga.

The National Chilli Awards 2009 Judges at work

The National Chilli Awards 2009 Judges at work

After we had drawn our verdicts on the various categories there was no time to waste as the awards ceremony itself was about to begin, myself, Karl and Dany dutifully got up on stage to help present the various winners with their awards, and then within no time at all after a couple of comedians (which I unfortunately missed!!) it was on to the main event of the day…The Chilli eating competition!!!

The 10 contestants made their way onstage as Rob the compere called out their names; I had met one of the favourites earlier on in the day, a young guy by the name of “Guff” who had come to the festival with his male groupies who were cheering him on as he climbed onto the stage. I was enlisted to hand out the various chilli’s to the contestants, a job which i OBVIOUSLY enjoyed, grinning like a Cheshire cat as I was handing out the fruits of pain!

Within about 30 mins we had whittled the contestants down to three; another dropped out after the Dorset Naga was consumed…but then came the piece de resistance!! the CPP Spanish Naga (more on this chilli in a future post!), after both contestants had chewed down not one….not TWO, but THREE Spanish Naga’s, the only female entrant gracefully dropped out thereby handing the win to “The Guff” who amidst all his pain and anguish still had enough strength to stand up, collect his prize ( a ChilliPepperPete t-shirt, bottle of dragons blood, £50 cash and the chance to go to ChilliPepperPete’s kitchen and cook up his own sauce!!) and bow for applause and cheers from the crowd and his gang before hastily swallowing as much milk, sugar and beer as he could consume!!

The day continued for another couple of hours, at this point there were masses of people swarming round the stalls and buying lots of painful treats for themselves and loved ones, myself and Mrs Naga were invited out for a meal by Miranda and Pete, an invitation we did not turn down! As the day progressed and the afternoon turned to evening we sat down with some of the most interesting people I have ever met and talked hot sauce, chilli’s and Baja till we had all eaten our fill at a lovely Italian restaurant down in the Marina, after which we all said goodnight and headed back to our respective abodes to try and get a good night’s sleep to prepare for the 2nd and last day of the FFUK festival!

FFUK National Chilli Wards Categories and Winners:

Day Two – Sunday 20th September

I awoke a little later than I had planned but still I felt refreshed and ready for the day, after a hasty morning preparation, myself and Mrs Naga headed out of our B&B after handing in the keys and jumped in the car, speeding off to nearby Brighton for the final day of our fantastic weekend.
As we arrived we managed to get a parking spot onsite this time, which allowed us much easier access to the whole site, the requirements of me today were to just generally help where i could, assist with the chilli eating competition again and also speak to some stallholders and get more photo’s, i headed off to see Pete and Miranda, things seemed a lot calmer today and there were much higher spirits all round as the event had only just opened and already people were pouring in and queuing outside!

After a quick chat we headed off to get some breakfast from a nearby snack wagon, then we had a lovely chat with “Archibald Floss” the proprietor of “Mental Floss” and also one of the acts for today’s show, after much laughter Archibald headed off to prepare and we went to sit down and enjoy his show. The show was fantastic, proper old school Victoriana sort of sideshow stuff, I can’t explain it very well but it was awesome, and afterwards we chatted to him some more and then headed off to chat with Gerald from the chilli pepper company who duly informed us that his newest hot sauce “10 Minute burn” had been banned by the health and safety officials for being too hot!! I took this opportunity to grab a quick video interview with Ged about the whole experience!!

Dany Lamote Cooking demonstration at FFUK09

Dany Lamote Cooking demonstration at FFUK09

We headed to the main tent where we were treated to a cookery demonstration by the fantastic Dany Lamote, head chef at the Hotel California in Baja, Mexico. Dany cooked a beautiful catfish in cashew and breadcrumbs with a chipotle sauce accompanied by stuffed Jalapeno’s and to say the food was sublime would have been an understatement, people scrambled up to the main stage the moment Dany said “who would like to try some?” We managed to grab a portion and while Mrs Naga just had the Jalapeno’s I had some fish as well and it really was worth scrambling for!!

After that it was time once again for the chilli eating competition to commence, and after much applause and booing, lots of sweat and tears one man came out on top, an ex chilli eating champion named Andy! he looked very hot and bothered but was glad to accept the prize and smiled for the camera. I stood around for a bit and chatted with a few people who recognised me from my YouTube video’s and postings here on the ChileFoundry, they urged me to make more video’s and just generally talked about all things chilli.

It soon dawned on myself and Mrs Naga that it would soon be time to go, so I set about collecting review samples from various stallholders, making sure to grab one of each of the previous days “National Chilli Awards” winners before thanking Miranda and Pete for being amazing hosts for the weekend and saying goodbye to various people we knew before climbing into the Nagamobile loaded down with plenty of review material, starting the engine and then heading off into the sunset with some awesome memories of an amazing weekend!! Thanks again guys and girls for making my trip so enjoyable, I’m really looking forward to the next one!! May the sauce be with you!!

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More pictures from the Fiery Foods UK Festival 2009

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