Curry competition: Doctors on standby to avoid repeat of 2011 emergency

Beverley Jones and runner-up Curie Kim
Beverley Jones and runner-up Curie Kim
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The world’s hottest curry almost lived up to its name last year when two diners who tucked into the “Kismot Killer” were hospitalised by gut-
burning chillies.

Now, to keep the temperature under control when the curry-eating competition returns later this month, doctors will be on standby to deal with contestants floored by the spicy serving.

The Kismot curry house’s fiery dish, which contains the world’s hottest chillies, landed a Korean exchange student and a Polwarth resident in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary last October after participants were seen writhing on the floor in agony, vomiting and fainting.

Red Cross members with first aid training will also be on hand at Abdul and Akbar Ali’s restaurant in St Leonard’s, with the brothers stressing any struggling contestants would be taken care of.

Abdul Ali, 27, said two doctors among his regular customer base had volunteered to monitor the 2012 Curry King and Queen competition.

He said he and his brother, who will donate proceeds to the Scottish Ambulance Service, wanted to “apologise for last year and show they’re doing a good job”.

He added: “If the contestants don’t look well, if they look like they’re in trouble, [the doctors are] going to throw in the towel for that person.”

Curie Kim, of Edinburgh University, who came second in the 2011 event, had to be taken by ambulance to the ERI twice in a matter of hours after sampling the Kismot Killer, and said eating it was like “being chainsawed in the stomach with hot sauce on the chainsaw”.

She said: “I’ve always enjoyed spicy foods and thought this was for a good cause, but it came with a price.

“I have never endured such pain in my life.”

Mike Lavin, from Polwarth, came fifth last year, but he was also taken to the ERI.

The event later came under fire from ambulance chiefs and community leaders, with local councillor Gordon Mackenzie branding the event a “shambles”.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “We would urge the organisers to review the way in which this event is managed in future in order to avoid another situation where emergency ambulances are required.”

Despite the events of last year, organisers of the competition on October 27 – which will see contestants endure three rounds of eating increasingly fiery bowls of curry – said they were forced to narrow the list of entries down to ten people after being inundated with applications.

They said entrants, who also agreed to background checks to establish their experience of eating hot food, will have to sign a disclaimer before they take part in the competition, which will include a Labour MP and a body-building nurse as judges.