Sparks fly as Andrew joins elite eating club

Andrew Burdett
Andrew Burdett

An electrician became only the third person in the world to polish off the world’s hottest curry at a restaurant in Lincolnshire.

Andrew Burdett gobbled the curry – nicknamed The Widower – at the Bindi restaurant in Grantham in just 45 seconds.

The curry is cooked using 20 ultra-hot Naga Infinity Chillies, the second hottest chilli in the world, and measures six million units on the Scoville Scale.

Pepper spray used by the police measures five million units on the same scale.

Electrician Andrew, 33, of Ise Road, Kettering, said he was convinced to take up the challenge by his friend Gareth Cowley after hearing Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans mention it on his morning show.

He added: “We booked a table two weeks in advance and started preparing by eating as many phal curries as we could, pretty much every night.

“I was also munching on chillis as snacks throughout the day to get used to the heat.”

The pair, accompanied by Gareth’s wife Lisa, went along to the restaurant on Saturday.

Andrew said: “If you’re eating The Widower they make you sit in the middle of the restaurant so everyone can see you.”

While Gareth was defeated after just a few mouthfuls, Andrew said he wolfed down the curry in less than a minute in a bid to finish it off before the heat could take its toll.

He added: “I started feeling sick straight away. I drank pints and pints of milk to stop the heat but it was really uncomfortable.

“It was so hot it was making tears come to my eyes, but that made it worse because the tears themselves were hot, so they burned my eyeballs – I had to lean my head back and keep dripping water in my eyes.

“They gave me a certificate and a pot of the paste they use to make the curry as a prize.

“I was only the third person to finish it and because I’d used the tactic of eating it as quickly as possible they said they were changing the rules in future so anyone who ate it isn’t allowed to go to the toilet for 15 minutes afterwards.”

Andrew said he could not sleep until about 5am on Sunday because he was still experiencing waves of pain and he was only able to eat a proper meal again on Tuesday.

He added: “I was working the next day so I just had to get on with it.

“If you’d asked me earlier in the week if I’d ever try it again, I’d say definitely not, but I’m not totally ruling it out.”

Andrew is now part of an elite group of curry eaters who have taken on The Widower challenge.

The first person to eat the curry was Lincolnshire man Dr Ian Rothwell, who took 44 minutes to eat the dish – although that included a 10-minute walk along Grantham high street halfway through the ordeal, during which time he considered giving up.

The second person to eat the curry managed to polish it off the night before Andrew.

It was after hearing Dr Rothwell’s story on Radio 2 that Andrew and Gareth decided to take on the challenge.

According to the Bindi restaurant’s website, the dish is cooked by a chef wearing gloves and goggles and contains 20 Naga Infinity chillis, 10 fresh finger chillis, five scotch bonnet chillis, a tablespoon of chilli powder and a drop of chilli extract, as well as more secret spices.