Video: Competitive Eaters Feel the Burn at Ghost BBQ's Wing Eating Contest

Ghost BBQ & Spirits opened last fall by the Boulder Theater and has quickly earned a reputation for the top-quality smoked meats turned out by chef/owner Bob Sargent. The chef's passion for barbecue is clear, but he also has a fondness for the searing heat of chiles. So on Thursday, June 30, he hosted the first Ghost BBQ Hot Wing Eating Contest, making use of the theater next door to provide food and live music for guests who gathered to watch the main event.

Ten contestants lined up on stage while several rounds of wings, each more infernal than the last, were placed before them. Rather than going for sheer volume, the brave competitors were required to wait a full minute after eating each wing — to fully feel the burn. Each contestant who made it through to the final round consumed eighteen fiery wings. At the end of the contest, the bones of 360 wings littered the tabletop.

After the final speed round, a winner was declared: Boulder resident Rahul Batra, a native of India who grew up in London and has been a lifelong devotee of ghost chiles. For his efforts, Batra received $50 cash and a $50 gift card to use at Ghost BBQ. We don't think he'll be ordering the mild sauce. 

Our videographer captured the wing-by-wing action at the brutal event, which contestants might still be feeling today.

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation