The heat is on for a red hot chilli-eating challenge at Cambridge Foodies Festival

Shahina 'Chilli Queen' Waseem at a Foodies Festival.

Shahina 'Chilli Queen' Waseem at a Foodies Festival. - Credit: Foodies Festival

Britain's reigning chilli eating champion intends to break world records at Foodies Festival this summer – and the challenge goes out to Cambridgeshire residents to take her on!

The huge three-day gourmet food, drink and music event will be visiting Cambridge from Friday, July 23 to Sunday, July 25. 

Shahina 'Chilli Queen' Waseem is encouraging all-comers to try and “take the heat” at all 10 of this year's star-studded Foodies Festival events, including the one planned for Parker’s Piece. 

West Londoner Shahina, who recently appeared on ITV's Game Of Talents, is set to go into the chilli eating hall of fame later this year with 100 consecutive contest wins. 

She relishes every challenge, saying: “The pressure to win is immense.

"I've come up against some very strong opponents – men and women. That’s what I love about chilli-eating contests, it’s a form of extreme competitive sport which is not affected by age or gender.

“I’ve also witnessed some really funny moments and entertaining reactions from those taking part.

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"As the competition hots up and the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rises, the enthralled spectators see competitors go from confidently showing off and enjoying themselves to extreme sweating, tears, cramps and running for the nearest sick bin or bucket of ice water!” 

Shahina’s unbeaten record in officiated chilli-eating contests, that are accepted by the world governing body for competitive chilli eating, the League of Fire, is 76 consecutive wins.

Chef Atul Kochhar and Chilli Queen Shahina Waseem.

Chef Atul Kochhar and Chilli Queen Shahina Waseem. - Credit: Adrian Brooks/Imagewise

She said: “I have eaten the world’s official hottest chilli, the Carolina Reaper, which can range from 1.5 million SHU to 2.2 million SHU. This is about 200 times hotter than a Jalapeño, which is about 2,500 to 8,000 SHU.

“I’ve eaten hotter peppers than the Carolina Reaper in America too, but these were Troy Primo phenotypes and will need a few years of stabilisation before they can be officially tested and recorded.” 

The Uxbridge-based champ, currently ranked third in the world, said: “Foodies Festival has been a huge and constant part of my chilli-eating journey.

"I intend to notch up 100 consecutive contest wins, and set a record that nobody in the League of Fire can beat for a long time!”

"I have an entourage of friends who are die-hard Foodies fans and we timetable our summer around the Foodies events.”

Shahina beat Radio One DJ Jordan North in a rapid-fire chilli challenge on Vernon Kay’s Game Of Talent in April.  

The Chilli Queen joins a huge line-up of celebrity TV chefs and music acts at Foodies Festivals this summer, including MasterChef and Bake Off champions and over 50 bands.

She added: “For us, it is not just about the chilli-eating contests, as important as they are to me, but also the overall great day out with the diverse global food and drink and music.

"Foodies is an immersive experience and my friends and I are super excited to be a part of it again in 2021.”

People wishing to take part in the chilli-eating competition can register at the front desk on arrival (over 18s only). 

For more on the festival, visit foodiesfestival.com/cambridge

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